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Project ID: 08-1-6-01

Year: 2008

Date Started: 07/01/2008

Date Completed: 12/30/2011

Title: Validation of Fuel Consumption Models for Smoke Management Planning in the Eastern Regions of the United States

Project Proposal Abstract: Fuel consumption is one of the most critical variables in estimating smoke production for smoke management planning in the eastern United States. Although there are fuel consumption equations contained within the national fuel consumption and emissions production tools Consume 3.0 and FOFEM, they have not been thoroughly validated. Land managers have indicated the tools over predict fuel consumption by 50% in the eastern regions of the country. The objective of this study is to collect a field dataset that will allow the determination of uncertainties, biases, and application limits of the consumption equations within Consume 3.0 and the First Order Fire Effects Model (FOFEM) to wildland fire in the eastern regions (northeast, northcentral, southeast) of the United States. We propose to collect pre-fire fuel loading and fuel consumption data on a minimum of 20 prescribed burns located on public and private lands and use fixed-wing aircraft remote sensing to estimate the variability in consumption across 10 of the burn units for comparison with averages from models. We will also assemble any previously collected quality fuel consumption data for the regions to improve our validation set, and provide the entire dataset to the Smoke and Emissions Model Intercomparison Project repository. If data prove that current consumption models are inappropriate for these regions, modifications and adjustments will be incorporated in Consume 3.0 and FOFEM with an update to each tools user manual, scientific documentation, and tutorial. A training workshop will be conducted within these regions for land managers. Opportunities to link this study with other efforts and acquire matching dollars will be pursued.

Principal Investigator: Roger D. Ottmar

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: PNW-Seattle-Managing Natural Disturbances

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Matthew B. Dickinson

Forest Service

NRS-Forest Health-Sustaining Forests

Co-Principal Investigator

Elizabeth D. Reinhardt

Forest Service

RMRS-Fire Sciences Lab-Missoula

Co-Principal Investigator

Robert E. Vihnanek

Forest Service

PNW-Seattle-Managing Natural Disturbances

Federal Cooperator

Roger D. Ottmar

Forest Service

PNW-Seattle-Managing Natural Disturbances

Technical Contact

Laura L. Burris

Forest Service

PNW-Pacific Northwest Research Station

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network


Oak Woodlands












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
view or print go to website 3512 Journal Article Canadian Journal of Forest Research
view or print   3735 Dataset (including spatial) Eastern fuel consumption study data summarized for the 29 units monitored.
view or print   3736 Dataset (including spatial) Microsoft Access database includes a data set of monitored fuel consumption collected.
  go to website 3737 Website A web page including project progress and deliverables was established in 2009 at
view or print   3738 Photo Photo captions
view or print   3739 Photo Photo 1. Pre-Fire Fuel Loading Inventory
view or print   3740 Photo Photo 2. Radiometer Tower
view or print   3741 Photo Photo 3. Collecting Fuel Moisture Samples Before Prescribed Fire Ignition
view or print   3742 Photo Photo 4. Igniting prescribed fire.
view or print   3743 Photo Photo 5. Incident Command Weather Trailer at One Prescribed Burn Site
view or print   3744 Photo Photo 7. WASP Installed in the Belly of the Aircraft
view or print   3745 Final Report Summary Summary of final report.
view or print   6496 Dataset (including spatial) Eastern fuel consumption study Microsoft data spreadsheet for all data collected on the 29 units monitored.
view or print   6497 Dataset (including spatial) This ia a list of ground-calibration datasets, summarized to total ground-leaving energy from the fires measured during this study.
view or print   6997 Photo Photo 6. Post-Fire Fuel Inventory

Supporting Documents

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