Fire Modeling Leaps Forward with California Partners

Computer models using artificial intelligence, predicting fire behavior, adjusting for atmospheric feedback and ignition patterns may sound out of place for some long-time burners in the Southeast. However, these new tools and technology are critical for planning and supporting decisions to reintroduce fire in complex settings and to supplement training for the workforce needed to maintain and bring back “good fires” across our country.

Tall Timbers Fire Scientists Kevin Hiers and Daniel Rosales-Giron, with Board Member and Los Alamos National Laboratory Senior Scientist Dr. Rod Linn, were at the center of a partnership to complete QUIC-Fire in 2020. As the first of these new coupled fire-atmosphere models that does not require a super computer, QUIC-Fire quickly gained attention for applied uses.

The new WIFIRE Lab based at the San Diego Supercomputer Center of the University of California, San Diego has now integrated QUIC-Fire as the model behind its new decision support tool BurnPro3D. WIFIRE has an impressive team of partners focused on advancing data, computing and workflows to tackle the knowledge needs surrounding a wide variety of hazards.

WIFIRE Lab Founder and Principal Investigator Dr. Ilkay Altintas is the Chief Data Science Officer at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. Dr. Rod Linn and Kevin Hiers are both Co-Principal Investigators and Co-Leads for Fire Science on the project. With first year funding of $900,000 from the National Science Foundation and a $5 million phase two proposal pending, WIFIRE is positioned to provide the “cyberinfrastructure” needed to continue developing usable decision support and training tools to expand the use of prescribed fire.

“WIFIRE is exactly the type of technology initiative that Tall Timbers and our partners have been looking for to take our fire science research and leap forward to the fire tools of the future,” explains Hiers. “This is the collaborative approach across disciplines that can get us to big ideas like the ensemble model runs you see for hurricane planning and flight simulators for pilot training. These are now rapidly approaching concepts for prescribed fire planning and training.”

WIFIRE Lab hosts both WIFIRE Commons as a collaborative platform and BurnPro3D as the new decision support tool driven by QUIC-Fire. Additional information on each of these WIFIRE projects follow. You can also visit the WIFIRE Lab website and subscribe to the WIFIRE Lab’s YouTube channel for the latest news, updates and project videos. Tall Timbers will continue to share more with you as this exciting effort moves forward.

WIFIRE Commons is the WIFIRE Lab’s collaborative platform that enables the development of AI-driven societal and scientific wildland fire applications through data and model sharing. The primary objective of the Commons is to create a convergence environment to accelerate wildland fire science and its proactive application to operational use for mitigation, planning, response, and recovery, through AI innovations. To achieve convergence between the AI and fire science communities, WIFIRE Commons develops an intelligent and integrated infrastructure to catalog, curate, exchange, analyze, optimize, and communicate big data and models at scale.

BurnPro3d is a decision support tool, created by the WIFIRE Lab, that harnesses novel ensemble simulations, using a new coupled fire-atmosphere model (QUIC-Fire), to capture the interaction between user-defined complex ignition patterns. BurnPro3D is the only space for active collaboration among land managers, burn bosses, plan approvers, and policy makers that will significantly increase the proactive application of fire in order to successfully combat devastating megafires. Additionally, in fire mitigation and response, BurnPro3D supports users in communicating risks and trade-offs to regulators and the public.

« Back to eNews