Introducing FuelCalc: A New Tool that Helps Turn Static Inventory Data into Actionable Information

TitleIntroducing FuelCalc: A New Tool that Helps Turn Static Inventory Data into Actionable Information
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2010
Series TitleFire Science Brief
Document NumberIssue 119
Date Published09/2010
InstitutionJoint Fire Science Program
Keywordsfuels and fuel treatments, jfsp fire science briefs and digests

Fuel and fire managers perform fuel treatments to manage and restore ecosystems and protect resources. In order to plan effective fuel treatments that accomplish objectives, managers need to analyze fuel conditions and document the expected fire behavior and fire effects both before and after fuel treatment. To help accomplish these goals, a new software tool named FuelCalc was created. FuelCalc facilitates use of a wide range of inventory data and fuel characteristics to help calculate fuel quantities and qualities to estimate potential fire behavior, fire effects, and smoke production. By linking with a number of existing software systems and databases, FuelCalc provides a one-stop information resource to help managers make efficient, well-informed decisions regarding fuel management and treatment alternatives and their potential consequences in terms of direct effects on fuels and predicted effects on fire behavior and fire outcomes.Key Findings

  • FuelCalc 2.0 simulates the effects of specific fuel treatments and potential fire behavior and is available through the Missoula Fire Lab Website:
  • Managers produce the documentation needed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and support their fuel treatment decisions.
  • Users can now convert inventory data into fuel qualities and quantities.
  • FuelCalc accepts user-entered data and links with FEAT-FIREMON Integrated (FFI) to ease data import. FuelCalc also creates export files for the Stand Visualization System (SVS), First Order Fire Effects Model (FOFEM), NEXUS, and the Fire and Fuels Extension to the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FFE-FVS).