Journal article

Conditional Performance Evaluation: Using Wildfire Observations for Systematic Fire Simulator Development

Thomas J Duff, Jane G Cawson, Brett Cirulis, Petter Nyman, Gary J Sheridan, Kevin G Tolhurst

FORESTS | MDPI | Published : 2018


Faster than real-time wildland fire simulators are being increasingly adopted by land managers to provide decision support for tactical wildfire management and assist with strategic risk planning. These simulators are typically based on simple forward rate-of-spread algorithms that were predominantly developed using observations of experimental fires. Given their operational use, it is important that fire simulators be assessed in terms of their performance for their intended use; predicting the spatial progression of wildfires. However, the conditions under which wildfires occur cannot be easily replicated experimentally. We describe and demonstrate a method for use in model development, wh..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This work was undertaken as part of the project 'Victorian Spatial and Temporal Drought Index and Drought Factor' which was funded by an Australian National Disaster Resilience Scheme grant via the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Components of this work were supported by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre. Data were sourced from: The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning; The South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources; Queensland Fire and Emergency Services; and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The software used for fire comparisons and simulation was PHOENIX RapidFire, a system developed at the University of Melbourne. The versions used were 4.007 and 4.008. The software is not currently available as a public product. It can be made available on agreement for research purposes; to enquire about access to the model for research use, please contact Phoenix Fire Predictions Limited, Level 1, 340 Albert Street, East Melbourne, Australia 3002, We would like to acknowledge the contribution of our reviewers, whose suggestions greatly improved this work.