U.S. Joint Fire Science Program


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US government work.


Managers, regulators, and others often need information on the emissions from wildland fire and their expected smoke impacts. In order to create this information, combinations of models are utilized. The modeling steps follow a logical progression from fire activity through to emissions and dispersion. In general, several models and/or datasets are available for each modeling step, resulting in a large number of combinations that can be created to produce fire emissions or smoke impacts. Researchers, managers, and policy makers need information on how different model choices affect the resulting output, and guidance on what choices to make in selecting the models that best represent their management requirements. Baseline comparisons are needed between available models that highlight how they intercompare and, where possible, how their results compare with observations. As new models and methods are developed, standard protocols and comparison metrics are necessary to allow for these new systems to be understood in light of previous models and methods. The Smoke and Emissions Model Intercomparison Project (SEMIP) was designed to facilitate such comparisons. This project was designed to be the first step in a broader effort, and hence was titled Phase 1 of SEMIP. In Phase 1, SEMIP: • Examined the needs for fire emissions and smoke impact modeling; • Determined what data were available to help evaluate such models; • Identified a number of test cases that can serve as baseline comparisons between existing models and standard comparisons for new models; • Created a data warehouse and data sharing structure to help facilitate future comparisons; and • Performed a number of intercomparison analyses to examine existing models. SEMIP so far has resulted in: • Multiple peer reviewed journal articles and other documents; • Over 20 presentations; • Discussions with the EPA, JFSP, USFS F&AM, DOI, NWCG, and others on how to improve fire emissions calculations; • New fire emissions analysis tools; • Presentations and discussions with the JFSP on how to gather field observations useful to this type of analyses; and • Discussions with the JFSP on data sharing and archiving. SEMIP has also been acknowledged in recent RFAs from both the JFSP and NASA.