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Type: Conference Proceedings
Author(s): G. Thomas Zimmerman; Mike W. Hilbruner; Paul A. Werth; Tim Sexton; Roberta A. Bartlette
Editor(s): David W. Goens; Sue A. Ferguson
Publication Date: 2000

The 1998 wildland fire season presented conditions favoring increased wildland fire numbers and rapid expansion of area affected. This situation posed complex issues to all wildland fire management agencies in terms of firefighting resource availability, allocation, and long-term decision outcomes. During the course of this fire season, questions arose regarding long-term severity, potential duration, and continued firefighting resource needs. Standard short-term information was inadequate to answer these questions and regional-scale assessments were warranted. Demands for long-range assessments of fire severity and duration, while increasing during the last decade, have been variable in nature and completed on a case-by-case basis across the United States. These past assessments have not followed a consistent process and have focused on one or more of three principal areas: possible growth of escaped wildland fires, regional fire assessment, and long-duration wildland fire assessment. As forward-looking information becomes more important to fire management decision-making, assessments of larger spatial and temporal scales will be needed. In 1998, four individual regional-scale long-range fire assessments were completed. All assessment areas encompassed large geographic areas and dealt with active fire situations and large numbers of fires in some areas while other area efforts focused on potential fire occurrence, fire management workload projections, and possible duration. To fully evaluate these concerns, historical weather data analysis coupled with short, mid, and long-term weather forecasting was used to project operational impacts. This paper discusses the long-range fire assessments completed in 1998, examines the value of these assessments in long-range decision-making, and describes procedures followed, analytical techniques used, products generated, and specific applications to fire management. This paper also presents a foundation of consistency for use in future long-range fire assessments.

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Citation: Zimmerman, G.Thomas; Hilbruner, Mike; Werth, Paul; Sexton, Tim; Bartlette, Roberta A. 2000. Long-range fire assessments: procedures, products, and applications. Pages 130-138 In: Goens, David W.; Ferguson, Sue A. Third Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology. Boston, MA: American Meteorological Society.

Cataloging Information

Alaska    California    Eastern    Great Basin    Hawaii    Northern Rockies    Northwest    Rocky Mountain    Southern    Southwest    National
  • available resources
  • fire season duration
  • firefighting
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Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 8225