Print Friendly and PDF

Advanced Search Results Detail

Project ID: 07-2-3-07

Year: 2007

Date Started: 06/04/2007

Date Completed: 10/01/2009

Title: Uncertainties in the use of Fuel Consumption Models, Fuel Loading Maps and Fire Reporting Systems

Project Proposal Abstract: Fire and fuel managers often need to know how much fuel will be consumed by a fire, and how much smoke the fire will produce. A variety of fuel loading maps and fuel consumption models have been developed to produce these and other estimates. Many factors influence the end result, but preliminary studies have shown that the specific choice of which fuel map and which consumption model to use can have an overwhelming effect on the final answer. Such studies raise questions about whether these inter-model differences are systematic or isolated, and about when and where different models designed to perform the same function agree or disagree. We propose a study to comprehensively compare four commonly used fuel loading maps and four consumption models to determine where they agree and where they disagree. Using percent fuel consumed, total emissions (PM2.5, CO, CO2 and total carbon), and other output values as metrics, cross comparisons will be made for all (4x4=16) possible combinations of model choice over all points in the lower 48 states. The project will produce a database of individual results and differences on a 1-km grid utilizing every fuel loading map available at that point. To make this work applicable to users, an interactive web site will be developed showing maps of these results and allowing managers to quickly query their location and visualize the fuel consumption and emissions uncertainties as well as the underlying fuels data. The result of this work will be a definitive cross-comparison of how well the various fuels models match, how well the various consumption models match, and how much the specific combination choice matters. By analyzing the results to determine the conditions under which the various models agree and disagree, users will be able to know when to most trust the results, and researchers will be able to focus on areas with the largest discrepancies. While this type of analysis cannot determine which model is inherently best, by looking for systematic or fuel type specific biases it can help highlight specific problems in the underlying models and areas deserving of further study. Additionally, the results from this study will be applicable to quantifying uncertainties in overall emissions inventories on a variety of spatial and temporal resolutions. Specific application will be made to the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). Current NEI fire emissions calculations are done using one specific model (included in this analysis). To place uncertainty bounds on the wildland fire emissions in the NEI, the results of the above inter-model comparison will be combined with an analysis of the differences between satellite-based, fire detects and ground reported fires utilizing work already underway. The results of this study will provide users of fuel loading maps, fuel consumption models, or fire emissions inventories with comprehensive uncertainty estimates. In doing so, it will focus future scientific research on areas which can best reduce such uncertainty, and it will result in better use of fuel loading, fuel consumption, and fire emissions information.

Principal Investigator: Narasimhan K. Larkin

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: PNW-AirFire Research Team

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Sean Raffuse

University of California-Davis

Crocker Nuclear Laboratory

Co-Principal Investigator

Robert Solomon

Forest Service

PNW-Seattle-Managing Natural Disturbances

Co-Principal Investigator

Tara M. Strand

NZ Crown Research Institute (Scion)

Federal Cooperator

Narasimhan K. Larkin

Forest Service

PNW-AirFire Research Team

Federal Fiscal Representative

Tamatha S. Verhunc

Forest Service

PNW-Pacific Northwest Research Station

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network




Great Basin

Great Plains

Lake States

Oak Woodlands

Northern Rockies




Southern Rockies



There are no project locations identified for this project.

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
    2557 Conference/Symposia/Workshop New Tools for Fire and Smoke and Their Application to the 2008 California Wildfires--San Diego, CA
    2559 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Development of Wildland Fire Emission Inventories with the BlueSky Smoke Modeling Framework--Chapel Hill, NC
    2560 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Development of Wildland Fire Emission Inventories for 2003-2006 and Sensitivity Analyses--Portland, OR
  go to website 2312 Website Website allowing browsing and querying of analysis database.
  go to website 2313 Website Project website
    2569 Invited Paper/Presentation BlueSky Component Model Studies--Boise, ID
    1845 Conference/Symposia/Workshop PM 2.5 Emissions and Smoke Predictions from the BlueSky Smoke Modeling Framework--Moab, UT
    2314 Poster AirFire Smoke Research PNW Research Station Science Summit--Hood River, OR
    2315 Conference/Symposia/Workshop The BlueSky Framework-Monterey, CA
    2316 Conference/Symposia/Workshop A Daily Fire Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory for the United States and Comparison with Other Inventories--Burlingame, CA
    2317 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Smoke and Emissions Model Intercomparison Project (SEMIP): An Invitation--San Francisco, CA
    1898 Invited Paper/Presentation The BlueSky Smoke Modeling Framework: Current Status and Ongoing Development--Bar Harbor, ME
    1899 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Reconciliation of Satellite Detected and Ground Reported Fire Information--Bar Harbor, ME
    1900 Conference/Symposia/Workshop The BlueSky Smoke Modeling Framework and SMARTFIRE--Falls Church, VA
  go to website 1901 Dataset (including spatial) Geospatial database comparing fire information detects across 3 systems.
    6525 Invited Paper/Presentation BlueSky, SMARTFIRE, SEMIP and Associated Efforts--College Park, MD
    6526 Invited Paper/Presentation BlueSky Status--Boise, ID
    6371 Progress Report FY 2008 Progress Report.
  go to website 5464 Dataset (including spatial) Database of fuel loading and fire consumption comparisons. Accessible through specialized viewer.
  go to website 5894 Training Session Video tutorial for web showing how to use the data viewer.
    6964 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Development and Applications of Systems for Modeling Framework and SMARTFIRE--Portland, OR
    6965 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Development of Wildland Fire Emission Inventories for 2003-2006 and Sensitivity Analyses--Boise, ID

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

Convert PDF documents to an html document using Adobe's online conversion tool.
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader