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Presentation

Abstract

The U.S. Forest Service uses the Simulating Patterns and Processes at Landscape Scales (SIMPPLLE) application to simulate landscape ecological processes and evaluate treatment options on National Forests in Montana, Northern Idaho, and the Dakotas. Wildfires are an influential process on the landscape; therefore, the model must accurately simulate ecological processes over long time periods. OpenSIMPPLLE, an open-source version of SIMPPLLE, contains an algorithm that spreads fire in all directions, regardless of wind and elevation, resulting in rectangular fires, which does not reflect realistic fire behavior. We integrated a more accurate cellular percolation spread algorithm developed by Keane et al. (2006) into the OpenSIMPPLLE application. The more accurate algorithm uses wind speed, wind direction, and terrain slope to compute fire spread in all directions to produce a more realistic fire shape. We extended existing file formats, updated the user interface, and implemented the new algorithm to be used alongside the existing logic. We leveraged software engineering techniques to implement new features while preserving existing functionality. Fires simulated with the new spread algorithm result in fire shapes that more closely mimic naturally-occurring wildfires. Integration of the fire spread algorithm developed by Keane et al. allows the Forest Service to make more informed management decisions for millions of acres of National Forests.

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Apr 28th, 10:00 AM Apr 28th, 10:20 AM

Integrating Cellular Percolation Fire Spread into an Existing Landscape Model

UC 326

The U.S. Forest Service uses the Simulating Patterns and Processes at Landscape Scales (SIMPPLLE) application to simulate landscape ecological processes and evaluate treatment options on National Forests in Montana, Northern Idaho, and the Dakotas. Wildfires are an influential process on the landscape; therefore, the model must accurately simulate ecological processes over long time periods. OpenSIMPPLLE, an open-source version of SIMPPLLE, contains an algorithm that spreads fire in all directions, regardless of wind and elevation, resulting in rectangular fires, which does not reflect realistic fire behavior. We integrated a more accurate cellular percolation spread algorithm developed by Keane et al. (2006) into the OpenSIMPPLLE application. The more accurate algorithm uses wind speed, wind direction, and terrain slope to compute fire spread in all directions to produce a more realistic fire shape. We extended existing file formats, updated the user interface, and implemented the new algorithm to be used alongside the existing logic. We leveraged software engineering techniques to implement new features while preserving existing functionality. Fires simulated with the new spread algorithm result in fire shapes that more closely mimic naturally-occurring wildfires. Integration of the fire spread algorithm developed by Keane et al. allows the Forest Service to make more informed management decisions for millions of acres of National Forests.