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Title: FUEL3-D: A Spatially Explicit Fractal Fuel Distribution Model

Author: Parsons, Russell A.;

Date: 2006

Source: In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Butler, Bret W., comps. 2006. Fuels Management-How to Measure Success: Conference Proceedings. 28-30 March 2006; Portland, OR. Proceedings RMRS-P-41. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 253-272

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Efforts to quantitatively evaluate the effectiveness of fuels treatments are hampered by inconsistencies between the spatial scale at which fuel treatments are implemented and the spatial scale, and detail, with which we model fire and fuel interactions. Central to this scale inconsistency is the resolution at which variability within the fuel bed is considered. Crown fuels are characterized by clumps of fuel separated by gaps between needles, between branches, and between trees. A growing body of evidence suggests that this variability plays an important role in how fire spreads. A new system currently in development for representing fuels with higher detail, called FUEL3-D, is presented. FUEL3-D is designed to both facilitate fundamental fuel and fire science research and to provide detailed guidance to managers in the design and evaluation of fuel treatments. Unlike existing fuel models that do not deal with spatial structure or variability within the fuelbed, FUEL3-D represents fuels with spatially explicit detail; individual branches on individual trees are resolved and quantified using fractal geometry and allometric relationships. Fuels can be summarized to 3-D pixels, at any scale, as input to advanced physical numerical fire behavior models such as FIRETEC and WFDS. FUEL3-D can thus be used to represent fuels before and after treatment with much greater detail than has been possible before. Model development, preliminary validation against destructively-sampled crown fuels data sets, and current research inquiries are discussed.

Keywords: fire, fire ecology, fuels management, FUEL3-D, fuels treatments, fuel models, fire behavior models

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Parsons, Russell A. 2006. FUEL3-D: A Spatially Explicit Fractal Fuel Distribution Model. In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Butler, Bret W., comps. 2006. Fuels Management-How to Measure Success: Conference Proceedings. 28-30 March 2006; Portland, OR. Proceedings RMRS-P-41. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 253-272

 


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