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Barrier Files and other suggestions

I am using IFTDSS to assess and plan firebreaks on a military base. IFTDSS has proven to be very useful for modeling fire behavior. I still have to use FlamMap/Farsite for a few features. One major difference is the ability to upload Barrier Files. The Burn Probabilities change dramatically when roads and breaks are added into the model. If this feature were brought into IFTDSS, it would strengthen the Burn Probability modeling considerably.


I also have a couple of suggestions that are for features that are neither in Flammap or IFTDSS. Currently, ignitions are assigned randomly (or with an ignition file in FlamMap). It would be useful if ignitions could be randomly assigned within an uploaded shapefile. For my project, ignitions would occur within impact fans behind ranges. I could also imagine buffering roadsides or campgrounds to get an idea of burn probability under the most likely ignition scenarios.

My last suggestion is perhaps more complicated. I like the 97th percentile conditions used in the Burn Probability models. It would be even more representative if there was an option for the wind direction to be based on the actual wind rose probabilities during the 97-100 percentile days. If the component iterations had different wind directions, the final product would product would be more representative of actual burn probability instead of the high risk areas piling up in the downwind corner of the planning area.


Thanks for all your hard work on this project. It has been a game changer for us, and has proven to be useful, versatile and powerful.

Alex Entrup

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Hi Alex - thanks for posting. We are glad to hear you are finding it useful. We plan to continue to add functionality so hopefully that usefulness will only increase over time. 


You have some great suggestions. We do plan to include the FlamMap Minimum Travel Time model in the future (likely mid-2020). At that point in time we will include the ability to upload both ignition and barrier files to be used with that model. The Burn Probability model in IFTDSS is from FlamMap (RANDIG) and at this time it does not utilize barrier files as you mentioned. We are investigating if there is a way to include that in the IFTDSS version.


I like the suggestion of the 97th  - 100th percentile "wind rose" probabilities being automated, but you could do that manually and figure out which wind directions those are and use that with your inputs when you set up the Landscape Burn Probability run. I understand that is not ideal. We are investigating using gridded weather in the future and perhaps that could lead to more automated weather inputs based on a user specified percentile. Definitely something for us to put on our "list"


Keep the ideas coming - we always like to hear how the field is using the application.


IFTDSS Team

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