Canadian Forest Service Publications

Predicting the daily occurrence of people-caused forest fires. 1991. Todd, J.B.; Kourtz, P.H. Forestry Canada, Petawawa National Forestry Institute, Chalk River, Ontario. Information Report PI-X-103. 16 p.

Year: 1991

Issued by: National Capital Region

Catalog ID: 10610

Language: English

Series: Information Report (Petawawa)

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

Mark record

Abstract

People are responsible for starting two out of every three forest fires in Canada. To efficiently suppress these fires while they are still small, a modern forest fire control organization must be able to predict their numbers and locations one day in advance. Contrary to popular belief, these fires do not occur at random times or in random locations. Instead, experience has shown that these fires are started under specific fuel and weather conditions and that the fires are predictable. During the past 20 years, various prediction methods have been developed and tested. The procedure presented here represents the current state of one of the paths taken in the search for a more accurate prediction system.

The goal is to predict the number and location of people-caused fires that will occur the next day in a large forest region. The procedure, encoded into a computer program, uses databases containing the region's historical fire occurrence patterns andtomorrow's predicted weather and fuel moisture index values. The program is written in Fortran and runs on a Digital VAX computer; the execution time is approximately 5 CPU seconds on a VAX 750. The program produces both tabular and map output.

The program was originally developed for use at the Société de Conservation de l'Outaouais' fire center in Maniwaki in southwestern Quebec. After several fire seasons of testing in this region, it was installed in other regions of the province. During the 1989 fire season, it was extensively tested and evaluated.

Also available under the title:
Prédiction quotidienne des incendies de forêts causés par négligence (French)