Please join us as Dr. Chris Lautenberger presents the latest features and functions of the PyreCast near-term fire forecasting platform developed as part of the California Energy Commission EPIC program funded Pyregence Project (#EPC-18-026).

WHEN: August 18, 2023, 1pm to 3pm (Pacific Time)

The objective of this webinar is to improve users’ ability to navigate the PyreCast platform’s features and functions. The webinar will also provide a demonstration of a real-world customization that can be used to inform wildfire situational awareness for electric utility de-energization (e.g., Public Safety Power Shutoff [PSPS]). We will also unveil our fully functional ‘match-drop’ tool that allows users to explore forecasted fire spread from a user defined ignition point. Please register here to confirm your spot.

• Electric utility companies.
• State and Federal agencies responsible for forest management and emergency response.
• Anyone interested in learning more about tools used for wildfire situational awareness.

The PyreCast platform provides three wildfire forecasting tools for enhanced wildfire situational awareness covering the continental US including:
• Active Fire Forecasting Tool – This tool provides 14-day fires spread forecasts for significant active fires within continental US. Active fire areas are established and recalibrated approximately every 12-hour from satellite-based heat detection data and fire spread is modeled using two different deterministic wildfire behaviors models (ELMFIRE and GridFire).
• Weather Forecasting Tool – This tool provide access to seven different gridded weather forecast models having different spatial resolutions (1.33 km to 26 km) and forecast durations (15 minutes to 16 days). Each model provide access to up to fourteen fire-relevant weather variables and indices, including for example:

    • Fosberg Fire Weather Index (FFWI) – A fuel-independent measure of potential spread rate based on wind speed, relative humidity, and temperature.
    • Vapor Pressure Deficit – Difference between amount of moisture in air and how much it can hold when saturated.
    • Hot Dry Windy Index – Similar to FFWI but based on VPD.
    • Firebrand Ignition Probability – An estimate of the probability that a burning ember could ignite a receptive fuel bed based on its temperature and moisture content.
  • Fire Risk Forecasting Tool – This tool provides a 5-day forecast of fire consequences if a fire were to occur under forecasted weather conditions. The risk model simulates over 500 million hypothetical fire ignitions to evaluate potential fire risk and consequences across California. Key fire spread model outputs are based on modeling 6-hours of fire spread without fire suppression and visually represented in the tool at an hourly forecast cadence. Outputs include:
    • Relative Burn Probability – Relative likelihood that an area is burned by fires that have not yet ignited within the next six hours.
    • Impacted Structures – Approximate number of residential structures within fire perimeter for fires starting at specific location and time in the future.
    • Fire Area – Modeled fire size in acres by ignition location and time of ignition.
    • Fire Volume – Modeled fire volume (fire area in acres multiplied by flame length in feet) by ignition location and time of ignition.
    • Crown Fire Area – Proportion of area (acres) forecasted to be involved with actively burning tree crowns.
    • Power Line Ignition Rate – Estimated power line ignition rate.

Chris Lautenberger, PhD, PE: Founder of Cloudfire, Inc. and Founding Partner and Principal Engineer at Reax Engineering. Chris is a licensed Fire Protection Engineer with expertise in fire science, fire dynamics, fire modeling, and forensic fire reconstruction. His professional activities involve applying fire dynamics and combustion principles to analyze various aspects of fire and combustion processes, ranging from small-scale smoldering combustion to large-scale wildland fire dynamics. He has published on several aspects of combustion and fire, including flammability, pyrolysis, ignition, fire spread, and fire modeling. Chris has over 20 years of experience applying fire dynamics calculations and fire models in support of scientific research, fire protection engineering design, and forensic fire reconstruction. Chris has developed computer models to analyze trajectories and ignition potential of metallic and woody particles generated by conductor clashing and interactions between vegetation and overhead electrical utilities, wildland fire propagation, and wildland fire risk.

David Saah, PhD: Professor at University of San Francisco, Managing Principal at Spatial Informatics Group and Principal Investigator for the Pyregence Project

Shane Romsos, MS: Co-Director Natural Hazards Program at Spatial Informatics Group and Project Manager for the Pyregence Project.





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