Forest Fires or Wildland Fires – Links to satellite images, preparation, prevention, educational

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Page Index
  • Introduction
  • What to Do
  • Principles of Fire
  • Home Protection
  • Fire Shelter Survival
  • Stats Wildland Fire
  • Satellite Updates
  • Educational
  • Fire News
  • Links Sites
  • Planning
  • Regulations/codes
  • Software Progs
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    Links To Wildland Fire(Forest Fire) Safety, Educational Information and Satellite Imaging
    Last updated/link check Oct 24 2007

    Introduction


    Less than 3% of all wildland fires are due to natural causes (lightning, etc). Aside from arson, the principal cause of wildland fires is accidents or carelessness. Therefore, it is truly up to you to prevent the next wildland fire either through your own actions or that of others.

    This page is a first step toward learning more. Listings are selective only and are not complete. Contains links to world wide authoritative sources, satellite updated imaging, software, educational resources, info on how to prepare and survive. Much of the information developed for the United States is applicable to wildland fires worldwide.

    Prevention and Response to Wildland Fire      to index

  • Important How To Prevent Fires Excellent guide on how to prevent fires starting. USDA-Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters. Presented by Modoc National Forest.

  • Important What To Do When Wildfire Starts Covers how to make your home more fire proof outside and what to do if fire threatens the property.

  • Important Tips On Fire In The Home What To Do In A Fire Especially good for children to remember and general tips.
  •                                                                                       return to index

    If you know these basic principles, you can
    prevent, prepare for or stop fire

    Links above, give concrete examples of these principles.

    Any way that it can, fire will:

  • spread itself using any flammable material to cut a path to other flammable material
  • start itself through flammable material making contact with hot surfaces (conduction), using focusing of sun's rays (e.g. through glass), etc.
  • leap spaces with the help of other environmental factors such as wind, radiation, convection, conduction by heating up space, air currents or will use gravity to drop itself on flammable material
  • heat up almost any material (heat transfer) to the point of flammability or dry up liquid to make materials vulnerable
  • melt certain materials faster than others like plastic, rubber, synthetic cloth. Leather shoes and cotton clothes, blankets are less dangerous.
  • outsmart you - be constantly aware of where the fire is or might go (it can suddenly be behind you cutting off escape), fires will restart from hidden embers given the right conditions for it, avoid canyons or 'chimney' areas where hot air will rise faster increasing the speed of the fire, etc.

    Other considerations

  • fire can lie dormant (smoldering) in certain conditions until the right conditions to flame are present - flammable material, oxygen, heat.
  • the by-products of fire (smoke, updraft) can be as deadly as the fire itself.

    In the end

  • fire can be stopped or prevented by taking into consideration all of the above

    Preparation and defense for Homeowners      return to index


  • Information for Home Owners Living in Fire Hazard Areas From Fremont County Emergency Management Reprinted courtesy City of Boulder Includes links to a number of other common problems facing the home owner and general emergency preparedness.


    Fire Shelter Survival For Fireland Fire Crews      return to index


  • Fire Shelter Survival Do's and Don'ts That Could Save Your Life. This is for firefighters and discusses the use of personal fireshelters carried by most firefighters.

    Training Aids Including excellent pdf files with photos and instructions on deployment and best use for new generation fire shelter and previous. Also includes training program.


    Statistics on Wildland Fire Causation Virginia Department of Forestry      return to index

  • Forest Firest: Statistics of Causes in Virginia USA "Forest fires, also called wildfires or outdoor fires, occur on average between 1,500 and 2,500 times per year. These fires burn an average of 8,000 to 10,000 acres. People are injured or killed, buildings are destroyed, and significant damage to the forest and environment occurs. "... "In Virginia, most forest fires are the result of human actions, and can be prevented by using common sense, following fire safety rules, and obeying fire laws. The greatest number of fires occur in February, March, April and May. This period is known as Spring Fire Season. Fall Fire Season in October, November and December." Percentage of fires caused: Open Burning 30%, Arson 20%, Smokers 14%, Misc. (house, vehicle, aircraft, etc. that spread to the forest) 11%, Children 9%, Equipment Use 7%, Railroads 5%, Lightning 3%, Campfires 1%
  • Forest Fire Statistics and Causes This site with figures for Estonia presents an interesting picture and tells us a lot about the causes of forest fires. "The average size of a forest fire was three hectares..." "...for the last ten years, it should be noted that only approximately one percent of all the fires are caused by natural factors (lightning, etc.). The remaining 99 percent are generally related to human activities. Wildland fires are caused by the following factors: natural factors (lightning) 1 percent; arson 14 percent; agricultural operations 8 percent; logging and forestry operations 1 percent; transportation and communications (railways, electricity lines) 5 percent; general public (campers, other visitors, children) 52 percent and other causes 1 percent. Unknown causes account for 18 percent of all Forest fires."
  • Fire Fighters Involved In Arson NBC News 60 Minutes Special.


    Satellite Reconnaissance and Maps      return to index


    International

  • Google Earth Download Free program - resolution very good above 500 feet, fairly good down to 300 feet above surface worldwide. Very easy to navigate and zoom, place finder by address, landmark, city, zip code, or type of business, etc. Paid programs give additional features.
  • NASA Free Download World Wind Incredible Satellite Imaging of Earth - (needs Windows 2000 or XP) Among the other features of the engine and of particular interest to this page is MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) which "...produces a set of time relevant data that's updated every day. MODIS catalogs fires, floods, dust, smoke, storms and even volcanic activity."
    The downloadable engine gives in addition, the following: 3D engine, Blue Marble, Land Sat 7, SRTM Animated Earth MODIS, GLOBE Country & State Borders Place Names, Visual Tools Landmark set
    World Wind is developed at NASA Ames Research Center by Chris Maxwell, Randy Kim, Tom Gaskins, Jessica Gan and project manager Patrick Hogan.
  • World Fires - Earth Observatory - Satellite Images up-to-date see NASA. See Other hazards
  • Weather and Warning Maps and information of all regions of world Regional Wildland Fire Networks of the International Strategy ISDR for Disaster Reduction
    United States
  • Large Fire Locations National Interagency Coordination Center at NIFC
  • U.S. Satellite Maps USGS topographical , NOAA Nautical Charts, Nav Photos and Aeronautical Charts Topographical for U.S. and only nautical maps for other parts of the world
  • National Fire Maps National and International Fire Agency in Boise Idaho Large Fire Locations from the National Interagency Coordination Center at NIFC.
    Includes links to the following Sites of U.S. Maps and Satellite Images:
    - GeoMac: Multi-agency provision of on-line, real-time wildland fire info
    - National Wildland Fire Monthly Outlook: Narrative and Map
    - National Wildland Fire Seasonal Outlook: Narrative and Map
    - Interagency Airspace Information System: Site available to all aviators    to access Temporary Flight Restrictions due to fire suppression operations
    - U.S. Drought Monitor: National Drought Mitigation Center
    - RSAC Fire Maps: Compiled at USDA Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center in cooperation with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the University of Maryland, the National Interagency Fire Center and the USDA Forest Service Missoula Fire Science Laboratory. The fire locations are mapped using imagery collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
    - Fire Events: National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Fire Maps
    - AVHRR Satellite Images: Forest Service Region 4 Weather Smoke & Fire
    - National Weather Service Forecasts: Fire Weather & Weather Forecast
    - National Fire Weather Page: National Fire Weather Forecasts, Offices, Outlooks, Observations, RAWS, Haines Index, Radar, Satellite, Drought, Temperature, Rainfall, Snowpack Data, Coordination Centers, Situation Reports
    United States Southwest
  • U.S. Southwest Forest Fire in the American Southwest – Putting the pieces together Map resources includes: Incident maps, Weather maps, Risk assessment maps, Other map resources Also includes Fire Statistics, Wildland-urban interface, Drought, Fire Maps, G.I.S.
    World Information Maps For Study
  • World maps and images (not-up-to date) - wealth of info for study GEsource World Guide Wealth of information Gives information and satellite images from around the world for use in study and presentation. The satellite images are one year old and older and are not meant to provide an up-to-date imaging Facility but a teaching and study source. Contains many other images besides forest fire.


    Forest Fire News      return to index


    FOREST FIRE NEWS

    International

  • International Forest Fire News "...Joint FAO/ECE/ILO Committee on Forest Technology, Management and Training..."

    Canada

  • During fire season, daily updates on fires and response in Eng and Fr.
  • Forest Fire Watch for Canada giving daily updates.

    EU

  • News EUFIRELAB a wall-less Laboratory for Wildland Fire Sciences and Technologies in the Euro-Mediterranean Region Wildland Fuel Description and Modeling, Wildland Fire Behaviour Modeling, Fire, Ecosystems Functioning and Biodiversity, Soc-Eco, Decision Support Tools, Wildland Fire Metrology, Wildland Fire Risks and Hazards, Wildland Fire Suppression Management, Wildland Urban Interfaces Management

    United States

  • National Fire News
  • Wildfire News


    Educational and Fire Wise Sites      return to index


  • Educational Resources of National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) NOAA Satellites and Information. Information, teacher's guide and downloads.
  • Excellent age graded site with information on many fire related topics, safety tips, and many references including teacher's guide, learning materials, posters, Sponsored by USDA Forest Service, National Association of State Foresters, Ad Council
  • USDA Fire and Aviation Management - Learning about Wildland Fires – Links Gives a number of references which can be used in the teaching and exploration of Wildland fires.
  • Forest Fires:  The Lesson Pack   Can be generalized to other areas. "This exercise is designed to be an introduction to forest fires in Canada. Background information focuses on the role of fire in the environment. Past uses and current debates are examined. The mapping exercise examines the causes of forest fires and general distribution patterns across Canada."
  • Forest Fires in Canada. Lots of information   Additional Forest Fire Websites and Teaching Resources: The National Forestry Database Program         A Compendium of Canadian Forestry Statistics, 1996.Forest Fires in Canada Great maps of current fire conditions in Canada. Check out current Graphs and Daily Fire Maps.    
  • conduction, convection and radiation exercises for students.


    Sites With Many Links to Wildland Fires      return to index


  • International Wildland Fire Website Provides access to numerous national and institutional sources of information, data, publications, monitoring, early warning and management of wildland fires
  • Pages of Links to Wildfire Information Aerial Firefighting, Wildland Fire Agencies and Organizations, Fire & Wildland Information Sources, Equipment, Apparatus, & Gear, Training, Books, Educational Materials, and Fire Art, Firefighting Software Tools, Job Search and Employment Information, Search, Rescue and EMS
  • Home Page of Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR)
  • Page of links to fire topics - historical wildland and urban and resources for children and teachers. 4 2 Explore Thematic Pathfinders for all ages.
  • USDA Fire Service Fire and Aviation Management Entry to much of what is known and used in Wildland fighting, Safety, Fire software applications, fire management, satellite reconnaissance, etc.


    Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) - Fire Protection Planning      return to index


  • Factors affecting the vulnerability of houses to wildland fire in the Mediterranean region (PDF) Discussion of wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas. While focus is on Mediterranean area, parameters, types of elements taken into consideration and findings are of interest to everyone. By the National Agricultural Research Foundation Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products Technology, Greece "Knowledge of the factors that make houses and other structures vulnerable to fires in wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas is a key for planning the development of such areas and for taking preventive steps to protect individual homes."
  • Excellent list of online references on Wildland-Urban Interface for American South West
  • Wildland-Urban Fire- A Different Approach (PDF) "It argues for residential compatibility with wildland fire rather than the necessary prevention of fire encroachment on the community."
  • FIREWISE Making sensible choices in the wildland/urban interface.
  • Structure fires in the wildfire-urban interface Problem of ignition, reduction and consequences of home-ignition zone management
  • Reducing the Wildland Fire Threat to Homes: Where and How Much? Jack D. Cohen, Ph.D., Research Physical Scientist, Rocky Mountain Research Station and summarizes key points

    Regulations, Codes and Planning      return to index


  • (Canadian) Ministry of Forests Regulations - Forest Practices Code of BC Act Forest Fire Prevention and Suppression Regulation
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Codes and Standards See Codes and Standards - NFPA develops, publishes, and disseminates more than 300 consensus codes and standards intended to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other risks. Virtually every building, process, service, design, and installation in society today is affected by NFPA documents."
  • Inter-Agency Mission on Forest Fires and Human Settlements in Indonesia, June 2000 management, prevention, causes, Strategic areas for private companies, NGOs, local and central governments
  • South Africa National Veld and Forest Fire Act 1998 PDF (long time to download) Detailed statute (over 5mb).


    Software in Fire Protection and Fire Management      return to index


  • On-Line Systems Fire.org software (systems for online management) and also see 'listing of On-Line systems' which are available for predicting and managing wildland fires. Fires software and online fire systems: BehavePlus, FARSITE, FlamMap, FireFamily Plus, FOFEM, fireLib, NEXUS And on-line systems: WFAS, FIREMON, FEIS, FMT Online. "This site is designed for wildland fire professionals and students who require access to the latest software, documentation, and technical papers developed by Systems for Environmental Management and the USDA Forest Service, USDI National Park Service, USDI Bureau of Land Management for use by federal, state, and local fire management agencies. Fire.org is a cooperative effort by Systems for Environmental Management, Missoula, MT and the Fire Sciences Laboratory of the Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Missoula, MT. "

  • CHARADE "CHARADE is a software prototype designed to support decision-making in forest fire management. It can be used either in a real operational context, in a simulated environment for training, or for long-term planning purposes. Its flexible architecture also means it can be adapted for use in other environmental emergency situations such as in flood or pollution prevention.

    While software tools exist to address certain aspects of wildland fires, such as fire detection, territory monitoring, fire evolution forecasting etc., CHARADE is the first to provide complete support for the entire process of fire management, from alarm detection to the first intervention plan." Project Participants: Alcatel ISR FR, ALENIA, Un'Azienda Finmeccanica IT, Ceselsa-Inisel ES, IRST ES, Italsoft IT, Link IT, SMA IT Thomson-CSF LCR FR, Thomson-CSF LER FR

  • Wildland Situation Analysis From Selected Tools USDA Forest Service What is WFSA? Selected quotes
       - "...A WFSA is not a software program or a computer model. There is no agency directive that requires the use of the existing software. A good paper document that covers the items required by each agency can suffice. WFSA is a decision analysis process."
       - "...The WFSA software (WFSA Plus 03) can be a valuable tool to work through the documentation of the suppression decisions made by the Agency Administrator. Hence it can be used as a decision support tool – it does not provide answers – only those responsible for land management at and near the incident can make decisions related to strategic objectives on the management of an unfolding emergency. It allows the comparison of different alternatives and how well they meet your established objectives. Preseason work on the needed elements for a good WFSA is important – waiting “until the glow is in the sky” may be too late to get the information to help move through the preparation. "
       - "...It is intended to be a dynamic process – it likely will require updates and modifications throughout the management of an incident."
       - "...As the complexity of a wildland fire escalates so to should the WFSA documentation and the underlying analysis that supports the decision."

  • State-of-the-art equipment & software An overview by USDA Forest Service.

    Burned Area Rehabilitation      return to index


  • Hayman Fire & BAER Information Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER) " BAER (pronounced 'bear') Teams are formed after major fires to assess damage caused by the fire and to implement a rehabilitation plan that will prevent loss of life and property and reduce further natural resource damage. In a nutshell, they survey and implement a plan to accomplish erosion control."
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of post fire rehabilitation treatments National Forest Service
  • Post-Fire Rehabilitation Excellent Bibliography of Literature on the subject
  • After the Forest Fire: Evergreen Needles Prevent Soil Erosion
  • Some Fire and Post-fire Reseeding References Compiled Nov 2003


    Selective Databases and Some Major Sites on Fire and Wildland Fire      return to index



    International
  • NFPA Online - National Fire Protection Association "The NFPA mission is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education." See Codes and Regulations section above.
  • FireNet The International Fire Information Network Established 1993
  • Fire Statistical Databases Global Regional and Country Statistical Reports
  • FIRE WORLDWIDE Extensive database. Member and Trial base search available

    Canadian

  • Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) The GFMC is an Activity of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR)
  • CIFFC Information Station "The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) provides operational fire-control services, as well as management and information services to its Member Agencies. In addition to coordinating services for all of the provinces and territories, CIFFC often coordinates the sharing of resources with the United States and other countries."
  • Forest Fire Watch for Canada giving daily updates.
  • Forest Fire in Canada National Site
  • Earth Observatory NASA Natural Hazards. Dust & Smoke, Fires, Floods, Severe Storms, Volcanoes, Unique Imagery.

    EU

  • EUFIRELAB a wall-less Laboratory for Wildland Fire Sciences and Technologies in the Euro-Mediterranean Region.

    UK

  • GE geography and Environment Gateway for UK, HE and FE GEsource is a free information resource for Geography and the Environment, and is aimed at staff, students and researchers in the HE and FE communities.

    U.S.

  • National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) Current fire info, education, safety, science and technology.
  • National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) NOAA Satellites and information, educational material and downloads.
  • Fire Sciences Lab of U.S. Forest Service
  • USDA Forest Service
  • Bureau of Land Management Office of Fire and Aviation

    References and Publications      return to index


  • Wildland Fire Information Sources Excellent links page by Thomas Eggleston
  • Resources including videos, books, and extensive Wildland Fire Resources On–line at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) site.
  • European Commission Natural Hazards Publications
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