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Publication Details

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  • Title:
    Wildfire Hazard Potential for the United States (270-m), version 2020 (3rd Edition) Data publication contains GIS data
    Dillon, Gregory K.; Gilbertson-Day, Julie W.
    Publication Year:
    How to Cite:
    These data were collected using funding from the U.S. Government and can be used without additional permissions or fees. If you use these data in a publication, presentation, or other research product please use the following citation:
    Dillon, Gregory K; Gilbertson-Day, Julie W. 2020. Wildfire Hazard Potential for the United States (270-m), version 2020. 3rd Edition. Fort Collins, CO: Forest Service Research Data Archive.

    The data presented here are the product of modeling, and as such carry an inherent degree of error and uncertainty. Users are strongly encouraged to read and fully comprehend the metadata and other available documentation prior to data use. No warranty is made by the Originator as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of these data for individual use or aggregate use with other data, or for purposes not intended by the Originator. These datasets are intended to provide nationally-consistent information for the purpose of comparing relative wildfire risk among communities nationally or within a state or county. Data included here are not intended to replace locally-calibrated state, regional, or local risk assessments where they exist. It is the responsibility of the user to be familiar with the value, assumptions, and limitations of these national data publications. Managers and planners must evaluate these data according to the scale and requirements specific to their needs. Spatial information may not meet National Map Accuracy Standards. This information may be updated without notification.
    This dataset is the 2020 version of wildfire hazard potential (WHP) for the United States. The files included in this data publication represent an update to any previous versions of WHP or wildland fire potential (WFP) published by the USDA Forest Service. WHP is an index that quantifies the relative potential for wildfire that may be difficult to control, used as a measure to help prioritize where fuel treatments may be needed.

    This 2020 version of WHP was created as part of the Wildfire Risk to Communities project ( and this dataset is a 270-meter (m) resolution companion to the WHP published in Scott et al. (2020). Vegetation and wildland fuels data from LANDFIRE 2014 (version 1.4.0) form the foundation for this version of the WHP. As such, the data presented here reflect landscape conditions as of the end of 2014. National wildfire hazard datasets of annual burn probability and fire intensity were generated from the LANDFIRE 2014 data by the USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station (Short et al. 2020) using the large fire simulation system (FSim). We also used LANDFIRE 2014 vegetation and fuels data directly in the WHP mapping process, as well as point locations of fire occurrence ca. 1992 - 2015 (Short 2017). With these datasets as inputs, we produced an index of WHP for all of the conterminous United States at 270-m resolution. We present the final WHP map in two forms: 1) continuous integer values, and 2) five WHP classes of very low, low, moderate, high, and very high. On its own, WHP is not an explicit map of wildfire threat or risk, but when paired with spatial data depicting highly valued resources and assets such as structures or powerlines, it can approximate relative wildfire risk to those specific resources and assets. WHP is also not a forecast or wildfire outlook for any particular season, as it does not include any information on current or forecasted weather or fuel moisture conditions. It is instead intended for long-term strategic fuels management.

    environment; geoscientificInformation; society; structure; Ecology, Ecosystems, & Environment; Fire; Fire detection; Fire ecology; Fire effects on environment; Fire suppression, pre-suppression; Prescribed fire; Environment and People; Forest management; Landscape management; burn probability; hazard; fuels management; fire suppression; fire likelihood; fire planning; risk assessment; wildfire hazard potential; United States; conterminous United States; CONUS; Alaska; Hawaii
    Related publications:
    • Scott, Joe H.; Gilbertson-Day, Julie W.; Moran, Christopher; Dillon, Gregory K.; Short, Karen C.; Vogler, Kevin C. 2020. Wildfire Risk to Communities: Spatial datasets of landscape-wide wildfire risk components for the United States. Fort Collins, CO: Forest Service Research Data Archive.
    • Short, Karen C.; Finney, Mark A.; Vogler, Kevin C.; Scott, Joe H.; Gilbertson-Day, Julie W.; Grenfell, Isaac C. 2020. Spatial dataset of probabilistic wildfire risk components for the United States (270m). 2nd Edition. Fort Collins, CO: Forest Service Research Data Archive.
    • Short, Karen C. 2017. Spatial wildfire occurrence data for the United States, 1992-2015 [FPA_FOD_20170508]. 4th Edition. Fort Collins, CO: Forest Service Research Data Archive.
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