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Fuel Characteristic Classification System Fuelbeds

The Fuel Characteristic Classification System (FCCS) defines a fuel bed as the inherent physical characteristics of fuel that contribute to fire behavior and effects (Riccardi and others 2007). A fuel bed can represent any scale or precision of interest. In FCCS, fuel beds represent the structure and composition of wildland fuels can accommodate a wide range of fuel characteristics in six horizontal fuel layers called strata (Ottmar and others 2007). FCCS summarizes and classifies wildland fuel characteristics and can also be used to predict surface fire behavior, crown fire potential and available fuel for estimating consumption, fire effects, and emissions. FCCS reference fuel beds represent fuels throughout much of North America and were compiled from published literature, fuels photo series, other fuels data sets and expert opinion. The LF fuels team collaborated with the Fire and Environmental Research Applications (FERA) team of the US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station on the FCCS layer. FCCS fuel beds have been mapped in LF and are preloaded in the Fuel and Fire Tools (FFT) application.

The fundamental component of the FCCS, the fuel bed, is the mapping unit in the the FCCS layer. The FCCS data from the LF Data Distribution Site (DDS) comes with attributes summarized from the FCCS calculator for each fuel bed. Each map pixel is represented by the fuel bed with Fuel Bed ID, name, and with fuel loading information in tons per acre for use in fire behavior and fire effects estimations.

Consume Input Tables are formatted for use in the Consume 4.2 calculator embedded in the FFT software. Fuel loading units are in tons per acre and can be used in the command line version of Consume. Users can join this file to the FCCS layer in ArcGIS to display the map with Consume inputs or view fuel bed numbers in the FCCS layer for the area of interest and then look up the Consume inputs from the table.

First Order Fire Effects Model (FOFEM) Input Tables provide fuel loading values summarized for use in the general FOFEM calculator. The file is not formatted for use in the FOFEM batch feature in the program. Fuel loading units are tons per acre and with additional fuel moisture and site descriptors this file can be adapted to work in the FOFEM batch function. Users can join this file to the FCCS layer in ArcGIS to display the map with FOFEM inputs or view fuel bed numbers in the FCCS layer for the area of interest then look up the FOFEM inputs from the table.

Ottmar, R.D., Sandberg, D.V., Riccardi, C.L. and Prichard, S.J. 2007. An overview of the Fuel Characteristic Classification System – quantifying, classifying and creating fuelbeds for resource planning. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 37:2383-2393.

Riccardi, C.L., Ottmar, R.D., Sandberg, D.V., Andreu, A., Ellman, E., Kopper, K. and Long, J. 2007. The fuelbed: a key element of the Fuel Characteristic Classificaiton System. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 37:2394-2412.

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