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Tools and technology: from the developer to the user community in the 21st Century

Date: December 6, 2012

Recommendation 3 submitted to the Joint Fire Science Program Governing Board over a decade ago stated that "The process of tool use including comparison, selection, acquisition, training, implementation, evaluation, and support needs national administrative focus, guidance, and support." A decade ago computer technology had advanced to a point that allowed for development of complex prediction models for fire behavior and fire effects. This new technology was mainly available to researchers and scientists with limited use within the fire management community. Over the last 13 years, existing and new computational models have been incorporated into dozens of unique standalone software systems, each with their own interface. In the short run, this has been of great benefit to the management community allowing applications in a wide variety of fuels treatment, wildfire response and post-fire planning contexts. In the long run, this profusion of computational models and software systems, mostly designed for desktop installations, has contributed to significant confusion, dysfunction, and inefficiency among model users, system administrators, and model developers alike. Frustration with the status quo has surfaced in many contexts, including surveys showing that the fire community is overwhelmed with the number of tools available. Assessments funded by the Joint Fire Science Program show that existing web-based model and data integration frameworks offer great promise to support solutions to these problems (e.g., IFTDSS, WFDSS, and BlueSky). In the future, a relatively small number of broad-scope, web-based integration frameworks specific to the business needs of particular domains that each have access to a virtual library of common services (e.g., computational models) could efficiently address most of the fire and fuels communities needs. However, technology is only part of the answer. Leaders of both management and science communities need to adapt behaviors to fully capitalize on these investments. Presented at the Fifth International Fire Ecology and Management Congress: Uniting Research, Education, and Management; hosted by the Association for Fire Ecology, Dec. 6, 2012, Portland, Oregon. Part of the concurrent session: Looking Back for a Clear View of the Future: 1999 to 2012.

Topic(s): Fire Communication & Education
Ecosystem(s): None
Type: Video
NRFSN number: 14284
FRAMES RCS number: 13759
Record updated: Apr 27, 2016