Forest fire management tools timely
New tools and the latest decision support technology for forest fire management will be timely for the first of 14 BNZ Tech Clinics at New Zealand Forest Industries 2011 in Rotorua in September. With predictions of a warm winter, September will see the summer fire season approaching, along with more emphasis on managing fire risks in our plantation forests.
The tech clinic features the latest developments from Scion, plus the new Fire Attack System from UK foam manufacturer 3FFF, presented by 3FFF International Sales Director Gary McDowall.
Scion Fire Scientist Veronica Clifford will present the latest in fire behaviour tools developed by the rural fire research team. She will provide examples on how to use the Manual for Predicting Fire Behaviour, the Fire Behaviour Toolkit, Guide to New Zealand Fuels, and the fire growth simulation software Prometheus.
The NZ Fire Behaviour Prediction Manual represents the current state of knowledge about predicting fire behaviour in New Zealand, using a table-based calculation method. The manual is available from Scion’s publications team and can be accompanied by a Guide to New Zealand Fuels, either as a separate book or as an insert into the prediction manual.
The manual has led to demand for software that could be used in the field. The Fire Behaviour Toolkit can be used on a desktop or laptop computer to calculate fire behaviour. It can be downloaded free from the Scion website (www.scionresearch.com/fire), and those who book for the clinic may want to bring it along with their laptop to the session.
Victoria will also introduce Prometheus, a GIS based software package that models the growth of fires across the landscape. It simulates where a fire is likely to spread based on fuel types, weather, topography and NZ fire behaviour models to help with fire management activities such as operational fire spread prediction, pre-fire planning & post-fire assessment.
To register for this BNZ Tech Clinic, go to http://www.fi2011.co.nz/