Canadian Forest Service Publications

Development and structure of Prometheus: the Canadian Wildland Fire Growth Simulation Model. 2010. Tymstra, C.; Bryce, R.W.; Wotton, B.M.; Taylor, S.W.; Armitage, O.B. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton, Alberta. Information Report NOR-X-417. 102 p.

Year: 2010

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 31775

Language: English

Series: Information Report (NoFC - Edmonton)

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


Accurate, high-resolution fire behavior prediction is a critical component of fire management decision-making before and during fires. Prometheus is a deterministic fire growth simulation model that was developed to help fire managers to understand the probable consequences of their decisions. It uses spatial input data on topography (slope, aspect, and elevation), fuel types, and weather to simulate fire growth by applying Huygens’ principle of wave propagation to the rate-of-spread predictions from the Canadian Forest Fire Behavior Prediction System of the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System. This approach produces detailed fire perimeters at user-specified display time step intervals. Each active vertex along the perimeter has corresponding fire behavior output. Exported fire perimeters are compatible with geographic information systems. Additionally, three interpolation techniques are available to produce optional raster fire behavior outputs. This report documents the structure of the Prometheus model and an assessment of its performance. The report includes a general discussion of approaches to the modeling of fire growth simulation and explains the vector propagation technique used in Prometheus. The limitations and assumptions of applying the model, as well as the most appropriate directions for future research, are also discussed.