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JANUARY 2021: LANDFIRE is evolving; Products - Tif only format; (Informal) Open Office Hours; Severe Fire Risk Webinar recording; Good Reading: Synchronous Fire Danger 
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Details of frosted plant life on the James Ranch near Durango, Colorado in the Animas River Valley.
LANDFIRE is Evolving
What to expect in 2021

The LANDFIRE Program is transitioning from bi-annual updates to annual product updates. By summer 2021, LANDFIRE will deliver updated vegetation and fuels spatial data sets reflecting disturbances submitted to the LANDFIRE Program or to national data bases that occurred in the years 2017, 2018 and 2019. Additionally, burn severity information from Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS), Rapid Assessment of Vegetation Condition after Wildfire (RAVG) and Burned Area Reflectance Classification (BARC) will be included for all fires available between 2017-2019 at the time of production. Vegetation type, vegetation cover and vegetation height in areas that were not disturbed 2017 - 2019 will be identical to LF 2016 Remap. Like LF 2016 Remap, surface and canopy fuels data sets will be delivered as “Year Capable” products reflecting regrowth of vegetation and fuels up to the delivery year (2021) for areas identified as disturbed in the 10 years prior to 2021.

Picture: Howard B. Cheek, TNC. Female Ruby-throated hummingbird. Kempner, Texas.
Finding the Buried (LANDFIRE) Treasure

Thematically rich, nationwide geospatial data sets are uncommon. LANDFIRE is one exception. If you see an application in conservation, wildland fire or other natural resource field that covers a large geography and requires detailed information on vegetation and fuels, you may find LANDFIRE program products played a role. Some examples are described in the Web Hosted Applications Map! Often however, you have to dig deep to find the buried treasure: LANDFIRE products. One example is the Colorado Forest Action Plan, which utilizes LANDFIRE vegetation and fuels spatial data layers as described in the Full Theme Descriptions of the Wildfire Risk Viewer
In order to better serve our users, the LF team has worked to offer mosaics of LF 2016 Remap CONUS and HI in .tif only format. This update to mosaics will be available starting January 2021. By offering .tif only in mosaic downloads we have considerably increased the download speed. For this update, LF also worked to incorporate a consistent naming convention for the mosaics and the contents within the mosaic download bundle. Please note that the data within the mosaics is unchanged; this update is focused purely on improving usability of LF products. Products downloaded using the LANDFIRE Data Distribution Site or the LANDFIRE Data Access Tool are still available in Arc GRID format.
Decorative map with text overlay: Join us for LANDFIRE'S (Informal) Open office hours; Drop in, ask questions, get help navigating the LANDFIRE product suite, find and use the best data for your work
Curious about LANDFIRE?

Grab that third cup of coffee and join a LANDFIRE team member (or two) for an informal, back and forth open office hours chat.

These 1-hr (informal) office hour chats will help you:

1. Learn how to best use LANDFIRE data within the context of your work (get some free help!)*
2. Troubleshoot common LANDFIRE questions (have a question, bring it)
3. Get familiar with the best (and worst) uses of LANDFIRE data (see LANDFIRE data in action)


What can you expect?
1. A LANDFIRE team member will host a short demo or LANDFIRE-themed presentation (addressing the topic outlined in the schedule below).
2. At least 40 minutes to dig into your questions (bring your LANDFIRE-related problems, ArcMap projects (they need not be complete), R code (in progress is okay) and we will troubleshoot, brainstorm and investigate them together.

When:
LAST Thursday of each month
Time: 1 - 2 pm (ET) | REGISTER - this link will not change from month to month

Schedule: January 28: Learn the ways to download / access LF data
February 25: Make a historical fire regime map
March 25: Generate a wildlife habitat map
April 29: Your topic here: email meg.dettenmaier@tnc.org
May - Dec: TBD

How:
*Do you have a question about LANDFIRE right now? Please submit questions or topics you would like discussed to Megan Dettenmaier (meg.dettenmaier@tnc.org) and she will make sure they are addressed. If your schedule works better for a particular month on the last Thursday, please let Megan know so she can schedule it when you attend. 

This series is managed by TNC's LANDFIRE Team and will include participation from a variety of federal and non-federal partners and guests.
Decorative image with text overlay: "where and when are high severity fires more likely to occur? Predicting severe fire potential across the U.S. with the FIRESEV project; December 9, 2020; Greg Dillon, Spatial Fire Analyst, USFS
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Abatzoglou, J. T., Juang, C. S., Williams, A. P., Kolden, C. A., & LeRoy Westerling, A. (2020). Increasing synchronous fire danger in forests of the western United States. Geophysical Research Letters, 47, e2020GL091377. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL091377 

Synchronous fire danger occurs when fire weather indices exceed the local 90th percentile across > 40% of forested land. Example of the geographic coverage of FWI exceeding the local 90th percentile threshold (red) on September 6, 2020. Nonforested lands with FWI exceeding the 90th percentile are shown in pink and all other forested lands shown in gray. (b) Spatial extent of forested land with daily FWI exceeding the 90th percentile during 2020 (red), smoothed 21-day moving average climatology during 1981–2010 (black), and the National Preparedness Level during 2020 (dashed gray). FWI, Fire Weather IndexThe authors use fire weather indices as a proxy for potential fire intensity. They found that in the western US forests, from 1979-2020 annual synchronous fire danger days occurred (on average) 25 days per year with 72% of these days occurring in July and August. Climate models predict an increase of synchronous fire danger days into the 21st century.

Without "
wholesale changes in ignitions, values at risk, and fire management approaches" climate change will continue to complicate fire management. 


Read the full paper


 
Henry Bastian
DOI Business Lead
Frank Fay
USFS Business Lead
Tim Hatten
USGS Project Manager
Jim Smith
TNC-LF Project Lead
Inga La Puma
LF Technical Lead

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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.