Print Friendly and PDF

Advanced Search Results Detail

Project ID: 12-1-02-35

Year: 2012

Date Started: 06/01/2012

Date Completed: 08/31/2015

Title: Developing a Post-Processor to Link the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) and the Fuel Characteristic Classification System (FCCS)

Project Proposal Abstract: Fuel treatments to reduce wildfire behavior and severity are major concerns for fire and forest managers throughout the United States. To test treatment effects and alternatives, managers rely on simulation models, such as Behave, the Fire Area Simulator, and the Fire and Fuels Extension to the Forest Vegetation Simulator. A prominent limitation of these models is their inability to calculate treatment effects with real fuels (e.g., stand exam data, shrubs). Moreover, fuel models do not account for shrub and nonwoody vegetation, which are major contributors of fire behavior and fire spread. To date, there are no simulation models that can quantify shrub and nonwoody fuel loading. However, emerging systems are available that could be integrated with existing modeling platforms to provide fire and forest managers with the ability to accurately evaluate and model all fuelbed components that have the capacity to burn and affect fire behavior. The Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) is a modeling system that has been used extensively for over 30 years by natural resource managers to simulate forest succession and treatment effects. The Fuel Characteristic Classification System (FCCS) is a scientifically robust, peer-reviewed approach to quantifying the structural complexity and variability of fuelbeds across diverse landscapes. FCCS fuelbeds are classified into six horizontal strata that represent unique combustion environments: canopy, shrubs, nonwoody fuels, woody fuels, litterlichenmoss, and ground fuels. A system to integrate the strengths of FVS and FCCS would give fire and forest managers the ability to evaluate and simulate silvicultural treatments (e.g., thin from below, prescribed fire, lop/scatter) and model forest and fuel succession based on realistic fuelbeds. Linking FVS and FCCS is a logical step in the development of a more robust fuels component of the widely used FVS model. In response to JFSP Task 1: Non-Forest and Understory Fuels Growth, Response and Succession, we request funding to continue development of an FVS post-processor that will link FVS and FCCS. Post-processors are stand-alone applications that produce specialized output using, as input, files that have been produced by the FVS model. FVS has an array of post-processors that were developed because of inquires and requests from forest managers who wanted specific information from the FVS model. Probably the most notable post-processor is the Stand Visualization System (SVS), which generates stand visualizations from FVS stand exam data. Our FCCS-FVS post-processor will allow managers to continue to conduct analyses in the FVS environment, but will give them the option to calculate fire hazard assessments with the best available science for documenting and quantifying complex fuelbeds parameters responsible for fire behavior and fire effects. For example, the post-processor will give managers the capability to compare treatment responses between a traditional (fuel models) and higher resolution (FCCS fuelbeds) approach.

Principal Investigator: Morris C. Johnson

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: PNW-Seattle-Managing Natural Disturbances

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Christina T. Bui

Forest Service

PNW-Pacific Northwest Research Station

Budget Contact

Rebecca A. Slick

Forest Service

PNW-Pacific Northwest Research Station

Funding Cooperator

Morris C. Johnson

Forest Service

PNW-Seattle-Managing Natural Disturbances

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.")

There are no deliverables available for this project.

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