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Publication Information

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Title: National database for calculating fuel available to wildfires

Author: McKenzie, Donald; French, Nancy H.F.; Ottmar, Roger D.;

Date: 2012

Source: Eos. 93(6): 57-58

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Wildfires are increasingly emerging as an important component of Earth system models, particularly those that involve emissions from fires and their effects on climate. Currently, there are few resources available for estimating emissions from wildfires in real time, at subcontinental scales, in a spatially consistent manner. Developing subcontinental-scale databases and applications in fire science requires a framework that uses both fine-scale and coarse-scale data with attention to minimizing extrapolation errors, while ensuring spatial consistency in outputs. The estimation of actual fuel amounts is likely the greatest source of uncertainty in calculating carbon release and other emissions from wildfires, particularly large fires that burn multiple vegetation types. To reduce this uncertainty, the Fuel Characteristic Classification System (FCCS) provides both a conceptual framework and a software tool for quantifying fuels over spatial domains from a few square meters to many square kilometers.

Keywords: smoke emissions, carbon accounting, climate change, fuels

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



McKenzie, Donald; French, Nancy H.F.; Ottmar, Roger D. 2012. National database for calculating fuel available to wildfires. Eos. 93(6): 57-58.


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