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Frequency analysis of when burn units are within prescription

I'm wondering if it would be useful to know how often and when your burn plans are within prescription? This would allow one to plan for resources, understand which parameters are most limiting, and ability to see the effects of modifying the most limiting parameter.   Using the prescription parameters specified in Element 7 of the burn plans, and querying a representative RAWS station, one could do this fairly easily in Fire Family Plus.  However, by incorporating the analysis tool into IFTDSS, it might receive wider use.  The user would also need to specify the number of consecutive hours within prescription in order to identify a day as being in prescription. 

Hi Richard, 

Thanks for posting and you have a great idea!  We have long discussed incorporating the old "RX Windows" approach to IFTDSS -  it's on our list of things to do in the future. The idea of RX Windows if you are not familiar is similar to what you are suggesting but goes one step further. I think of it as working a prescription backwards... for example: you specify the outcome you find optimal (flame length, Rate of spread etc) and RX Windows then would help you find the weather combinations to produce those parameters based on fuel model. Then you could go to your RAWS and do what you are suggesting to find the time periods during the year when those weather conditions are met.  RX Windows used to be included in the old DOS version of BEHAVE. When the new BEHAVE Plus was written it was decided not to include this old module. I have definitely heard a number of people asking about the idea you are suggesting. 

Keep checking back here in the Forum and we will keep this topic updated as we get closer to being able to develop this idea. We may even be in touch with you to get further insight into what you are thinking. 

Thanks again and keep posting ideas! We love to hear them.

Kim from the



That's sounds even better, if indeed it will help identify only the minimum parameters necessary to obtain the objectives.   Does that routine specify the minimum number of consecutive hours of these weather and fuel moisture conditions in order to carry out the burn?   I use four, but perhaps that could be user-specific.  The other factor is the adjustment from the RAWS site to the burn unit.   While we have some adjustments for the 1-hour fuel moisture per S-390 methods, we probably need adjustments for the other critical parameters.



Somewhat off topic, until the IFTDSS team gets this up and running, I've got a tool I've been building that does a similar thing:

Pick a weather station, download the data, and it'll graph the percent of hours that match the prescription. It's a nights and weekends project for me, so if you run into any problems, let me know and I'll add them to the feature tracker / bug tracker and slowly get to them. It's running on a free web service, so try not to pick more than 10 years of data or the hosting service gets grumpy and times out.

Daniel Godwin

Daniel,  This is pretty cool.  I wasn't able to get the plots to update when I added the acceptable range of 1-hr and 10-hr fuel moisture.  Also, the burn prescription that I'm investigating has 100-hr FM and flame height wind speeds.  I'm wondering if you could add those paraemeters as well?   Since the RAWS station only has 20 foot WS, perhaps something  that prompts the user for a correction factor from the mid-flame WS could be helpful.   Again, this seems like a great tool.


Hey Rick-

In order not to clog up this space with this, can you shoot me an email? daniel (at)

I'm working on adding in the 100 hour estimates. I want to reproduce what you're saying about 1hr and 10hr not working.



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