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Running an Automated Basic Fire Behavior (BFB) Analysis

WFDSS Automated Basic Fire Behavior can be used by an Incident Owner, Editor or by any user assigned the WFDSS role of Dispatcher or Geographic Area Editor (both must be assigned to the same geographic area as the incident). The model, initiated from the Situation map, provides a very simple way to get "snapshot in time" fire behavior outputs for every cell on a user-defined landscape extent that include:

Model inputs, although few, have a significant impact on the gridded fire behavior outputs. The current Automated BFB model requires the following information from the user:

The model retrieves forecasted weather and winds data from the National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Database for current simulations. For past dates or times, the model uses historic weather from a nearby RAWS at similar elevation.

You can accept the wind speed and direction that is provided, or you can replace those input values with ones you choose. Within a short time (usually within a minute or so), fire behavior results will be ready for viewing. 

Note: It is important to remember that the more automated the model, the less ability you have to refine the inputs. Because WFDSS Automated BFB is highly automated (providing fuels, weather, and topography data, and requiring very few inputs from the user), carefully critique the results before using them for supporting wildland fire decision making.

The landscape extent cannot exceed 30 miles in either direction. The resolution is always a multiple of 30 meters and is set to 90 meters when the landcape size is 400-900 square miles.

Note: You can view the input parameters from the Analysis perspective.

To run an automated BFB analysis:

  1. From the Incident List page, select the incident you want to run a basic fire behavior analysis for.
  2. Click Assess Situation. The Situation page appears showing the map of the incident area.
  3. Select Landscape Extent Icon from the Map Tools.
  4. Draw a Landscape Extent on your map around the incident. This is the area of the analysis.
  5. From the Map tab, click the + sign next to Analyses. The list expands.
  6. Mark the checkbox next to Basic. You will see two icons next to the term:

Table 1: Icons for Running an Automated BFB Analysis

Help icon

Accesses the online help for the selected item.

New icon (green circle with +)

Creates a new analysis.

  1. Click New icon (green circle with +). The list expands.
  2. Enter a Name for the BFB.
  3. Enter a Burn Date. The analysis uses the weather and forecast data available for this date.
  4. Enter the Burn Time in 24-hour format (hh:mm). The analysis uses the time to determine what the fire is likely to be doing (e.g., a burn time in the morning will give different results than one during the heat of the day).
  5. Click Next. WFDSS displays the wind data for the selected date and time. You can edit these data if necessary.
  6. Click Run Model. A message appears saying that the model was successfully sent for processing. When the run is complete, the BFB appears in the BFB list and the results appear on the map.
  7. To view more details, click the + to the left of the BFB you just created and select one of the options listed. The map changes to display each option selected.

Depending on the load on the system, it could take several minutes for the run to complete. If you don't see results, try refreshing the page and zooming in.

In This Section

Situation Assessment

To run an automated BFB analysis:

See Also

Assessing the Situation

Running an Automated Short-Term Fire Behavior (STFB) Analysis

Downloading an Incident KMZ File for a Published Decision


Field Descriptions

Glossary Resources

Spatial Data Reference

Landscape Data Source Reference

Relative Risk Reference

Organization Assessment Reference

Fire Behavior Reference

About the WFDSS Decision Editors