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Wildfire Hazard Potential (WHP) for the conterminous United States (270-m GRID), version 2014 continuous

Publication Year: 
Author: Dillon, Gregory K.

Federal wildfire managers often want to know, over large landscapes, where wildfires are likely to occur and how intense they may be. To meet this need we developed a map that we call wildfire hazard potential (WHP) – a raster geospatial product that can help to inform evaluations of wildfire risk or prioritization of fuels management needs across very large spatial scales (millions of acres). Our specific objective with the WHP map was to depict the relative potential for wildfire that would be difficult for suppression resources to contain. To create the 2014 version, we built upon spatial estimates of wildfire likelihood and intensity generated in 2014 with the Large Fire Simulation system (FSim) for the national interagency Fire Program Analysis system (FPA), as well as spatial fuels and vegetation data from LANDFIRE 2010 and point locations of fire occurrence from FPA (ca. 1992 – 2012). With these datasets as inputs, we produced an index of WHP for all of the conterminous United States at 270 meter resolution. We present the final WHP map as continuous integer values. 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.