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FireFamilyPlus

Abstract

FireFamilyPlus is a software system used to summarize and analyze historical daily fire weather observations and to compute fire danger indices on the basis of the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) or the Canadian Fire Danger Rating System (CAN). Fire occurrence data can also be analyzed and cross-referenced with weather data to help determine critical levels for staffing and to establish fire danger for an area.

Purpose

Logo for FireFamilyPlus.
Logo for FireFamilyPlus.
In its minimal functionality, FFP provides climatological values of Fire Danger Indices used to establish climatological breakpoints for fire weather stations in the Weather Information Management System (WIMS).

FireFamilyPlus has significantly improved the effectiveness of national, regional, and local NFDRS training courses. It is the computational and analysis cornerstone for Advanced Fire Danger Rating taught at that National Advanced Fire & Resource Institute (NAFRI) and for the course Regional/Local Fire Danger Rating (S-491), and it provides climate summaries for techniques taught through Long Term Fire Behavior (S-492). FireFamilyPlus generates Fire Danger Rating Pocket Cards required by the 30-Mile Abatement Plan and supports predictive services at all the Geographic Coordination Centers.

Overview and Applicability

FireFamilyPlus is a Windows application that supports the spectrum of fire weather, fire danger, fire climate, and fire occurrence analysis tools required by fire managers to use the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) successfully. NFDRS is mandated for use in fire preparedness by all Federal and most State agencies and is operationally run with the Weather Information Management System (WIMS), which is managed and maintained by Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management.

Uses of FireFamilyPlus include:

  • Computing indices and components of NFDRS and the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System from weather climatology data.
  • Summarizing weather climatology to produce climatological breakpoints for fire management decision making.
  • Combining fire occurrence records to display the historical relationships between weather conditions and fire occurrence, which can be useful for setting fire business thresholds and tracking seasonal progression of fire danger.
  • Analyzing specific weather information to help estimate fire potential for an ongoing fire’s continued growth. For example, analyzing precipitation records can suggest the likelihood of rainfall events that might slow or stop fire growth. Examining wind records can help determine the most likely direction for long-term fire growth.

Software Downloads

  • FireFamilyPlus application and installation guides (website).
  • Tips and tricks for using FireFamilyPlus (pdf).

Technical Support

The first level of technical support is provided through local support channels. The second level of technical support is provided by the U.S. Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management Fire Applications Help Desk.

Phone: 866-224-7677, 360-326-6002
Fax: 866-328-1364
Email: helpdesk@dms.nwcg.gov
Internet: https://fam.nwcg.gov/fam-web

The Fire Applications Help Desk is available for help with software issues only.

Inputs

  • Historical fire weather data from Kansas City Fire Access Software (KCFAST)
  • Forest Service fire occurrence data
  • Decision points (i.e., action or danger class limits based on both fire weather and fire business in the user's danger rating area)
  • Fuel model, slope class, and fuel moistures

Outputs

  • Hourly weather data
  • Wind report by month
  • Danger Rating Pocket Cards
  • Fire danger projections (Burning Index, Energy Release Component, Keetch-Byram Drought Index, NFDRS indexes, etc.)
  • Persistence probability report (i.e., chance that tomorrow’s weather variable will be the same as today’s)
  • Severity list and summary (i.e., ranking of each year at a fire weather station in terms of the burning index)
  • Daily listing (i.e., historical weather records that can be compared against original weather records)
  • Cumulative fires analysis
  • Fires probability analysis

Example of Burning Index statistics graph and weather percentile graph produced by FireFamilyPlus.
Example of Burning Index statistics graph and weather percentile graph produced by FireFamilyPlus.

Citation

Bradshaw, L. FireFamilyPlus. Available online at https://www.firelab.org/project/firefamilyplus.

Release Notes

Version 1.0 release (1999) of FireFamilyPlus replaced 5 independent, disjointed DOS programs and provided modern access to both the data and analysis routines. FireFamilyPlus 4.1 is the most recent certified version that was approved for installation on U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management computers in June 2013. Updates are supported by the U.S. Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management (sponsor) and the Rocky Mountain Research Station (developer). Additional information on the current and previous releases is available here (pdf).

Publications

Bradshaw, Larry S. ; McCormick, Erin , 2000


Research Topics: 
Fire
National Strategic Program Areas: 
Wildland Fire and Fuels
RMRS Science Program Areas: 
Fire, Fuel and Smoke
RMRS Strategic Priorities: 
Fire Sciences
Geography: 
National