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A vegetation assessment and manipulation platform for wildland fire modeling

Fire management requires the consideration of vegetation as a potential fuel. Forest managers need to determine the consequences of silviculture, fuel treatments and natural disturbances (such as bark beetles, drought, wind storm, climate change) on potential fire risk. With FuelManager, the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) in Avignon, France, developed a powerful and flexible module to model fuels and fire effects using the Capsis platform to analyse the relationships between vegetation characteristics, fire behavior and post-fire impact on vegetation. This module entails to build input files for two well-known physics-based model of fire behavior, FIRETEC (Linn and Cunningham, 2005) and WFDS (Mell et al., 2007).

General objectives

Fire Paradox FuelManager is a key application in the fire modeling process with the following major objectives:

  • to generate vegetation scenes in 3D to be used as input data for fire behavior models;
  • to account for the effects of natural and human disturbances;
  • to allow analysis of fire effects on trees.

Innovative aspects

3D spatial distribution of plants can now be considered in the new fire models. Likewise, the thermal, physical and chemical properties of any plant elements can be taken into account. FuelManager is a powerful software enabling representation of any vegetation community in the landscape in a user-friendly manner, simultaneously integrating the required attributes for running complex fire simulation in the background.

It can be installed locally on a PC. It has also been developed on taking advantage of the tree growth and forest stand dynamics modeling platform CAPSIS, entailing simulation of vegetation growth with and without fire events. It relies on two different types of fuel items: Plants and LayerSets. Plants are identified individually, whereas LayerSets are used to describe a group of plants that are too small and/or numerous to represent individually. This latter option is typically used to model an understorey.

To date FuelManager is the only free software available, able to build input data for both FIRETEC and WFDS from the same input data.

Major results

This module was originally developed in the frame of the Fireparadox research program.

Between 2012 and 2014, a large refactoring has been done to move the core of the Fuel Manager module (Plant, LayerSet, intervention, export to fire models, fire effects package) to a separate library called Fire, so that it can be used in other modules such as STANDFIRE.

Quick start guide


Pimont F, Parsons R, Rigolot E, Coligny F, Dupuy J-L, Dreyfus P, Linn R. 2016. Modeling fuels and fire effects in 3D : model description and applications. Environmental Modelling and Software 80, 225-244. 2016_fuelmanager.pdf

Pimont F, Parsons R, Rigolot E, Dupuy J-L, Coligny F, Linn R. 2016. Modeling Fuels and Fire Effects in 3D with FuelManager and STANDFIRE. International Association of Wildland Fire. Proceedings for the 5th International Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference, April 11-15, 2016, Portland, Oregon, USA. 6p. 112._francois_pimont-extendedabstract.pdf

Rigolot E, de Coligny F, Dreyfus L, Leconte I, Pezzatti B, Vigy O, Pimont F. 2010. FUEL MANAGER: a vegetation assessment and manipulation software for wildfire modeling. Proceedings of the VI International Conference on Forest Fire Research. D. X. Viegas (Ed.).

Lecomte I, De Coligny F, Griffon S, Pimont F, Rigaud E, Rigolot E, Vigy O. 2010. Fire Paradox Fuel Manager: user’s manual (final version). Final product P6.1-6 of the integrated project “Fire Paradox”. 93 p. p6.1-6-48-1000-1.pdf

Additionnal References

Linn, R.R., Cunningham, P., 2005. Numerical simulations of grassfires using coupled Atmosphere fire model: basic fire behavior and dependence of wind speed. J. Geophys. Res.110, D131007.

Mell, W., Jenkins MA., Gould J., Cheney. 2007. A physics-based approach to modelling grassland fires. Int. J. Wildland Fire 16, 1-22.


help/fireparadox.txt · Last modified: 2016/04/21 15:06 by pimont