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Project ID: 12-1-03-30

Year: 2012

Date Started: 09/01/2012

Date Completed: 10/20/2016

Title: STANDFIRE: An IFT-DSS Module for Spatially Explicit, 3D Fuel Treatment Analysis

Project Proposal Abstract: Accurate characterization of stand scale fuel treatment effectiveness is necessary before such treatments can be robustly considered at landscape scales. Fire behavior predictions are key components in evaluating fuel treatments, which may include a mixture of mechanical treatment and prescribed fire, and are also important for silvicultural and fire ecology analysis. However, model assumptions in current systems used to predict fire behavior, such as fuel homogeneity, fuel continuity and lack of spatial detail, greatly limit their application to fuels treatments, as well as to other related problems, such as changes in fire behavior associated with disturbance processes such as beetle outbreaks or windthrow events. In recent years, 3D dynamic, physics-based fire behavior models have emerged which have significant potential to more robustly capture effects of fuel treatments on fire behavior. Over the last several years, these models have played a key role in advancing our understanding of numerous aspects of fire behavior. However, these models have not yet been used in an operational context. Here, we propose to develop and test a prototype system , called STANDFIRE, which will use 3D physics-based models in core calculations in evaluating fuel treatment effectiveness at the scale of individual stands. The system is envisioned to read in a tree list from the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) forest growth model as well as weather, ignition patterns and other model inputs that will be used for fire simulations. The system will then distribute fuels spatially, write the input files for and run a three-dimensional, physically-based fire behavior model and post-process the simulation results to express resulting fire behavior and fire effects. As fuels can be manipulated in FVS, this process will facilitate comparison of untreated and treated fuel stands, or for a time sequence of fuels states derived from an FVS stand dynamics simulation. This effectively provides an alternative, more detailed, approach to evaluate fuel treatments than the existing Fire and Fuels Extension (FFE) of FVS. While the prototype system will serve as a focal point for the project, the primary emphasis of the project will be on investigating key aspects of how this new science can be applied to the problem of fuel treatments. The objectives of this project are: 1) to develop and analyze a new approach for stand-scale fire behavior analysis, 2) to investigate metrics for evaluating fuel treatment effectiveness and 3) to provide a new platform for fire science development. By addressing interactions between fire and fuels not as point functional calculations but rather as dynamic, three-dimensional, processes that are sensitive to both fuel structure and composition, the project is expected to benefit the fire science and management communities by expanding the solution space for fuel treatment analysis. Our proposal is addressed to JFSP RFA FA-RFA012-0001, Task 3: Fuel Treatment Effectiveness, and directly addresses the following key topics identified in the RFA: " Treatment effectiveness  How effective are fuel treatments at meeting fire behavior objectives? How is treatment effectiveness influenced by treatment type, intensity, and season? " Treatment longevity How long are treatments effective at meeting specified fire behavior objectives? What are treatment effectiveness decay rates, and how do they vary by fire behavior objective? " Effectiveness metrics  What measures of fire behavior or ecosystem response are most useful as indicators of treatment effectiveness?

Principal Investigator: Russell A. Parsons

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: RMRS-Fire Sciences Lab-Missoula

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Cindy D. Gordon

Forest Service

RMRS-Rocky Mountain Research Station

Budget Contact

Edith M. Cates

Forest Service

RMRS-Rocky Mountain Research Station

Co-Principal Investigator

Jean-luc L. Dupuy

INRA-French National Institute for Agricultural Research

EFPA-Dept Ecologie des Forets, Prairies et milieux Aquatiques

Co-Principal Investigator

William ’Matt’ M. Jolly

Forest Service

RMRS-Fire Sciences Lab-Missoula

Co-Principal Investigator

Rodman R. Linn

DOE-Department of Energy

LANL-Computational Earth Science

Co-Principal Investigator

William E. Mell

Forest Service

PNW-Seattle-Managing Natural Disturbances

Co-Principal Investigator

Francois S. Pimont

INRA-International Forestry & Global Issues


Co-Principal Investigator

Eric F. Rigolot

INRA-French National Institute for Agricultural Research

EFPA-Dept Ecologie des Forets, Prairies et milieux Aquatiques

Co-Principal Investigator

Francois P. deColigny

INRA-French National Institute for Agricultural Research

EFPA-Dept Ecologie des Forets, Prairies et milieux Aquatiques


Nicholas L. Crookston

Forest Service

RMRS-Forestry Sciences Lab-Moscow


Chad M. Hoffman

Colorado State University

Department of Forest, Rangeland & Watershed Stewardship


Carolyn H. Sieg

Forest Service

RMRS-Southwest Forest Science Complex

Funding Cooperator

Russell A. Parsons

Forest Service

RMRS-Fire Sciences Lab-Missoula

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network




Great Basin

Great Plains

Lake States

Oak Woodlands

Northern Rockies




Southern Rockies









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 3708 Journal Article Environmental Modelling and Software
view or print go to website 3709 Journal Article Forest Ecology and Management
view or print go to website 3761 Journal Article Land
  go to website 7822 Computer Model/Software/Algorithm STANDFIRE
    7821 Computer Model/Software/Algorithm (Windows Software)

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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