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Dynamic wildfire navigation system

Author(s): Mitsuhiro Ozaki, Jagannath Aryal, Paul Fox-Hughes
Year Published: 2019

Wildfire, a natural part of many ecosystems, has also resulted in significant disasters impacting ecology and human life in Australia. This study proposes a prototype of fire propagation prediction as an extension of preceding research; this system is called “Cloud computing based bushfire prediction”, the computational performance of which is expected to be about twice that of the traditional client-server (CS) model. As the first step in the modelling approach, this prototype focuses on the prediction of fire propagation. The direction of fire is limited in regular grid approaches, such as cellular automata, due to the shape of the uniformed grid, while irregular grids are freed from this constraint. In this prototype, fire propagation is computed from a centroid regardless of grid shape to remove the above constraint. Additionally, the prototype employs existing fire indices, including the Grassland Fire Danger Index (GFDI), Forest Fire Danger Index (FFDI) and Button Grass Moorland Fire Index (BGML). A number of parameters, such as Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and forecast weather data, are prepared for use in the calculation of the indices above. The fire study area is located around Lake Mackenzie in the central north of Tasmania where a fire burnt approximately 247.11 km2 in January 2016. The prototype produces nine different prediction results with three polygon configurations, including Delaunay Triangulation, Square and Voronoi, using three different resolutions: fine, medium and coarse. The Delaunay Triangulation, which has the greatest number of adjacent grids among three shapes of polygon, shows the shortest elapsed time for spread of fire compared to other shapes. The medium grid performs the best trade-off between cost and time among the three grain sizes of prediction polygons, and the coarse size shows the best cost-effectiveness. A staging approach where coarse size prediction is released initially, followed by a medium size one, can be a pragmatic solution for the purpose of providing timely evacuation guidance.

Citation: Ozaki, Mitsuhiro; Aryal, Jagannath; Fox-Hughes, Paul. 2019. Dynamic wildfire navigation system. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 8(4):194. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8040194
Topic(s): Fire Behavior, Mapping, Risk
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 19498
FRAMES RCS number: 57735
Record updated: May 14, 2019