Sensitivity of fire size to fireline construction rates in a simulation model
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): E. L. Smith
Publication Year: 1986

Cataloging Information

  • chaparral
  • distribution
  • experimental fires
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire size
  • fire suppression
  • firebreaks
  • forest management
  • fuel models
  • grasses
  • litter
  • logging
  • rate of spread
  • slash
  • US Forest Service
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 38473
Tall Timbers Record Number: 13077
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File DDW
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


An initial attack model was sensitive to changes in production rate of suppression forces, as shown by changes in final fire size. The adequacy of fireline construction rates used in fire planning models has been questioned. A fire containment model was tested over a range of suppression force productivities to show the effect on final fire size. The percentage of fires that escaped was sensitive to the productivity of line-building units. The degree of sensitivity depended on the severity of environmental conditions. Final fire size was most affected by fireline construction rates under the most severe environmental conditions tested. Using distributions of production rates from weighted averages of the results produced final fire sizes similar to those obtained using point estimates in the simulation model. Planners may be able to use graphs like those presented, in place of iterations of a fire containment model.

Smith, E. L. 1986. Sensitivity of fire size to fireline construction rates in a simulation model. Fire Technology, v. 22, no. 2, p. 136-147.