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February 2020: LF Remap Fuels
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"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch
of a friendly hand, and for a talk beside the fire:  it is the time for home." 
-  Edith Sitwell

 
Photo by Roeselien Raimond Photography
LANDFIRE REMAP DATA IS NOW IN IFTDSS
LF Remap (c2016) data is now available in the Interagency Fuel Treatment Decision Support System (IFTDSS).

Currently IFTDSS includes LF Remap data for the Northwest, Southwest, South Central, & North Central LF GeoAreas, represented by the purple boundary in the map below. As more LF GeoAreas are completed, they will be incorporated into IFTDSS

LANDFIRE FUELS
LF Remap changes to fuels products in disturbed areas

A significant refinement to the LF Remap process was adopted to more accurately represent vegetation within disturbed areas for fuels use, allowing LF Remap to provide "capable fuels" products. What this means is that the Time Since Disturbance (TSD) assignments for disturbed areas have been calculated using an effective year. With LF Remap, we synchronized TSDs for surface and canopy fuels in disturbed areas and updated fuels products in disturbed areas to expected 2019 vegetation conditions for disturbances that have occurred between 2010 and 2016, making the fuels products "2019 capable."

What this means for the user is that Capable fuels improves performance of fire behavior modeling by reducing the need for local LF users to update the vegetation and fuel conditions to represent contemporary disturbance conditions. LF Remap products better represent active and potential wildfire behavior on the landscape when compared to results where all the disturbed areas depict circa 2016 conditions, given the date of the data. All LF Remap releases (new and following) are delivered with a TSD factor that better represents feedback from Subject Matter Experts on contemporary disturbance conditions .

Biophysical Settings changes to fuel assignments

Currently, LF Remap Biophysical Settings (BpS) spatial data is the same as LF 2010 except it has been updated to reflect the barren and water pixels as mapped in LF Remap vegetation products.

With the final release of LF Remap for CONUS in mid to late 2020, the LF Remap BpS product will receive an updated numbering scheme and will also include Mean Fire Return Interval (MFRI), Percent of Low-severity Fire (PLS), Percent of Mixed-severity Fire (PMS), Percent of Replacement-severity Fire (PRS), and Fire Regime Groups (FRG) as attributes, so that the linkage of these characteristics to BPS is maintained. Fire Regime attributes will be based upon the newly revised and updated BpS model and descriptions.

The comparisons below show the differences between LF 2010 and LF Remap Water and Barren.
                           You asked ... We answered

In "capable fuels," LF mentions using a 10-year TSD scope. Once the vegetation reaches this scope, how is vegetation type and structure assessed?

LF uses the most recently available updated/adjusted LF vegetation to represent non-disturbed and disturbances outside their 10-year TSD scope. For LF Remap, the vegetation used is based on new imagery and methodology, which determines type, lifeform, and lifeform structures.

After the 10-year scope for TSD, products return or are within an average range of variability of returning to the original (pre-disturbance) vegetation/fuel assignment for vegetation type, lifeform, and structure.  Products continue in this modeling approach based on Forest Vegetation Simulator  succession information  until such time as new imagery is used to remap or apply a new disturbance to the location.

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Why is a 10-year scope used?

LF has chosen to utilize 10-year time frame for the Time Since Disturbance (TSD) period based on the available literature and succession information in the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS). After the 10 year scope for TSD, fuel products are dependent on imagery based modeling of vegetation type, lifeform, and structure found in the existing vegetation products.

LF recognizes that there is a wide range of variability and complexity of landscapes across the United States regarding the timing of successional responses. The succession response times vary by disturbance type and severity and location. Additional research in this area would be very helpful in further refining the TSD logic.

This general scope approach provides that surface fuel models will return or are within an average range of variability of returning to the original vegetation/fuel assignment. LF recognizes that canopy fuels are on a similar trajectory during this 10-year period but are not at an original vegetation/fuel condition; however, canopy fuels would be tall enough to be included in the canopy fuel profile for the area. Based on this regrowth trajectory of the vegetation, the newest available LF data for structure and Existing Vegetation Type can then be used to inform what the vegetation is and what its structural characteristics would be.

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Interesting Reading - LANDFIRE at Work

Sagebrush Distribution within the Biome Range Extent, as Derived from Classified Landsat Imagery 
This raster (LF Existing Vegetation Type) portrays the distribution of sagebrush within the geographic extent of the sagebrush biome in the United States by incorporating the most recently available sagebrush cover mapping (Xian et al. 2015, Rigge et al. 2019) and classified LANDFIRE EVT. Both spatial data layers were thoroughly assessed by the authors (Jeffries, M.I., M.R. Bobo, S.P. Finn, S.E. Hanser, T.E. Remington, T. Anthony, J.L. Welty, and L.A. Wiechman, United States Geological Survey, 2019)
Fire Lab tree list:A tree-level model of the conterminous United States landscape circa 2014 LF raster data was used to develop a map of imputed plot identifiers at 30*30 m spatial resolution for the conterminous United States for landscape conditions circa 2014. Both products were thoroughly assessed by the authors. (Riley, K.L., I.C. Grenfell, M.A. Finney, J.M. Wiener, and R.M. Houtman, Forest Service Research Data Archive, 2019)

Henry Bastian
DOI Business Lead
Frank Fay
USFS Business Lead

Tim Hatten
USGS LF Project Manager

 

Jim Smith
TNC-LF Project Lead

Birgit Peterson
USGS Technical Lead

LANDFIRE Helpdesk

The LANDFIRE Program is a cooperative agreement between the USDA Forest Service, agencies of the Department of the Interior, and The Nature Conservancy. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, the Program is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.
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