Synthesis of Knowledge of Extreme Fire Behavior: Volume I for Fire Managers

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The National Wildfire Coordinating Group definition of extreme fire behavior (EFB) indicates a level of fire behavior characteristics that ordinarily precludes methods of direct control action. One or more of the following is usually involved: high rate of spread, prolific crowning/spotting, presence of fire whirls, and strong convection column. Predictability is difficult because such fires often exercise some degree of influence on their environment and behave erratically, sometimes dangerously. Alternate terms include “blow up” and “fire storm.” The objective of this project is to synthesize existing EFB knowledge in a way that connects the weather, fuel, and topographic factors that contribute to development of EFB. This synthesis will focus on the state of the science, but will also consider how that science is currently presented to the fire management community, including incident commanders, fire behavior analysts, incident meteorologists, National Weather Service office forecasters, and firefighters. It will seek to clearly delineate the known, the unknown, and areas of research with the greatest potential impact on firefighter protection.

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