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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Recent Praise for Spatial Fire Planning Process in WFDSS

The Spatial Fire Planning Process that was recently added to WFDSS has expanded the functionality of the application and given the users greater flexibility to represent the intricacies of their Fire/Land/Resource Management Plans. The WFM RD&A recently received the following feedback praising the new feature and we thought we'd share it here...

"In my opinion the move to the Spatial Fire Planning module of WFDSS was a much better way to display and implement the forest plan direction vs. using FMUs. Classifying LRMP Management Area objectives as strategic objectives and Management Prescription Category guidelines and standards as management requirements was a relatively simple exercise.  Perhaps the more significant benefit of converting to spatial fire planning is that policies have changed substantially in the last few years both nationally and locally. Stand-alone policies specific to retardant avoidance, sage grouse, aquatic invasives,  mitigating impacts to T&E species, and others have or will become major constraints relevant to most fires. In my opinion that has uncovered a deficiency in the FMU concept in that common ground for the LRMP objectives, guidelines, and standards sometimes doesn’t align with the areas covered by other policies. Essentially, the lumping and splitting process done to consolidate the appropriate forest plan guidance into an FMU doesn’t work on retardant avoidance areas or sage grouse priority habitat. The advantage of Spatial Fire Planning is that you can include everything, and efficiently filter through what is relevant once a planning area for incident is defined."

Fore more information about the Spatial Fire Planning Process check out the WFDSS Spatial Fire Planning Guide.

Data Sharing Leads to Powerful Tools for Fighting Fire

The WFM RD&A focuses on providing information that improves decision-making on fires.  Few things are as powerful as the combination of information on where a fire is likely to go (fire behavior modeling) and what things that the fire is likely to impact (values at risk).  The WFM RD&A gathers information on values at risk from a variety of sources. Among the most important are local government datasets depicting building locations, which are often built from addressing and tax parcel, or "cadastral", data.  Recently, Emergency  Management magazine published an article about the cadastral data partnership in which the WFM RD&A is engaged. This partnership engages federal partners from within the wildland fire research and operations communities, non-fire federal agencies with aligned goals, and state and local government entities to build datasets that improve decision-making and contribute to public and firefighter safety.  The article was authored by WFM RD&A employees Andrew Bailey, Data Manager, and Benjamin Butler, GIS Specialist.