Developing Treatment Alternatives - Colville National Forest Example

Section 5– Developing Treatment Alternatives

Starting the Develop Treatment Alternatives Task

Now that you have a baseline data for the landscape and fire behavior, and specific areas for which you’d like to propose treatments, you’ll move on to the Develop Treatment Alternatives workflow. This task is under the Strategic Planning stage of the Cycle. Here you will develop and compare fuels treatment alternatives so you can determine how changes in the fuels characteristics affect fire behavior outputs.

Start by selecting the Develop Treatment Alternatives task.

Develop Treatment Alternatives is available from the Strategic Planning stage of the cycle

The Develop Treatment Alternatives screen contains five tabs, or steps. You’ll proceed through each one using the steps below.

Pick a landscape and area of interest

  1. A. Select the “Originating Landscape” (North Selkirk CFLRP LF2014 Un). The Originating landscape sets the landscape extent for the rest of the workflow. Originating landscapes displayed in the drop-down menu will always be unedited LANDFIRE layers. Any edited layers you’ve created that match that extent will become available in subsequent tabs.
  2. B. Select the AOI created earlier in Map Studio (Watershed Proposed Treatment Areas). This will constrain the analysis to the treatment areas. If Area of Interest was left blank, the analysis would be applied to the entire landscape.

    landscape and area of interest selected

Edit the landscape to simulate treatment scenarios

Next, move to the Edit Landscape tab, where you’ll select a Default Fuels Treatment rule, and apply it to the AOI to simulate a thin and pile burn. This will create a version of your landscape with edits applied to your areas of interest. Later you will see how this proposed treatment affects fire behavior. To create the edited landscape:

  1. Select the “North Selkirk CFLRP LF2014 Un”landscape as your starting landscape. If you’d like to see your selected landscape while editing, click the Split Screen button in the top left.
  2. Click Add Default Fuels Treatment/Disturbance Edit Rule to display editing options.
  3. Click Thin: Slash Removed, then select the “Light Thinning; Pile Burning” option.
  4. Choose the “Light Thinning: Pile Burning” option.

    Tip: If you hover your mouse over the "Light Thinning: Pile Burning" option, it will give you the details on what the rule represents.

  5. Select 5 to 10 Years since disturbance.
  6. Select the “Watershed Proposed Treatment Areas” mask to apply the rule to that area.
  7. Click the Add to Rules button.

    This rule will mimic thinning the AOI to about 80 % present density by removing understory up to 8” DBH with subsequent pile burning of thinned material. This information appears if you hover over the “Light Thinning: Pile Burning” option described in step C above. Alternatively, the description of each default rule can be read in the Landscape Editing—Default Fuel Treatment and Disturbance topic.

    DTA editing steps as outlined in the steps above

  8. Your rule will be displayed at the top of the screen along with a green confirmation box. Leave this rule as-is, but know that if you had made a mistake and needed to discard the rule, it could be deleted using the Deletedelete button shown to the right of the rule.

    Edit rules are displayed at the top of the page.

    Later, you’ll also mimic a broadcast burn after the thin and pile. While you could create a second rule that would be applied after the first (See Rule Ordering Considerations for more detail on these), you’ll apply one at a time so it’s easier to track the results of the rule on the landscape. It’s always a good idea to assess your landscape after editing to ensure the rule has been applied correctly and the result makes sense.

  9. To finalize and create your edited landscape, scroll to the bottom of the editing page, input a landscape name that is representative of the edits (Watershed 20 Thn Pburn 10 yr), and click Save New Landscape.

    Give your edited landscape a name and click 'save new landscape' to apply the edits

Proceed to the Model Input tab.

Important! Keep the landscape names around 30 characters in length so they run smoothly through the comparison and reporting process within IFTDSS.

Enter parameters for a fire behavior modeling scenario

In the Modeling Input tab you’ll use 97th percentile weather and fuel moisture inputs that were supplied in the PDF report you downloaded earlier. Open the PDF copy of the Auto97th report and scroll until you find the Crown fire output map, values will be displayed in the bottom right o f the map box. If you did not save a PDF, you could also obtain this information by accessing my Auto97th report in My Workspace, but with a PDF, you don’t have to navigate back to this point in the treatment alternatives task.

  1. Enter the inputs for wind, crown fire inputs, and initial fuel moisture, based on the Auto97th report run earlier:

    • Generate Gridded Winds left selected
    • Wind Speed: 14
    • Wind Direction: 180
    • Crown Fire Inputs: Scott/Reinhardt selected and a foliar moisture percent of 100
    • Initial fuel moistures of 3, 4, 6, 99, and 120 for 1hr, 10hr, 100hr, herb, and woody fuel moistures, respectively.

    By not clicking + add row under the “Initial Fuel Moisture” section, the fuel moistures will remain the same for all fuel models across the landscape. If you had clicked + add row, you could enter specific fuel models and assign unique moisture conditions for each one.

  2. For Fuel Moisture Conditioning, select "Condition (Select Classified Weather Stream)." This matches the conditioning indicated in the Auto97th PDF.
  3. Click Save Inputs at the bottom of the screen and move to the Run Model tab.

    Landscape Fire Behavior model inputs visible in the inputs fields.

Running Fire Behavior

You’ll want to run the fire behavior model on both of these landscapes here so you can compare the results:

  1. Examine the names next to each o f the landscapes. If you wanted, you could rename them here, but leave them as-is for this tutorial.
  2. Click Run Model next to each landscape.

    Run Model buttons can be seen to the right of each model run listed.

  3. Give the models a couple minutes to run. Hit the refresh button to the right of “Run Status” to see the model status, until both are completed.

    Clicking the refresh button will update the model status

Next, move to the Compare Alternatives tab.

Compare Alternatives

Once on the Compare Alternatives tab, you’ll select each landscape you want to compare. The will be numbered in the order you select them, and from reading the right hand panel information, you ‘ll see that this order is very important:

  1. First, select the edited landscape so it has a “1” next to it. Then, select the original landscape, so it has a “2” next to it.

    This order tells IFTDSS to calculate the difference created by your treated landscape (1) on your original land-scape (2). For example, if your new landscape has flame lengths of 3 feet, and the original has flame lengths of 7 feet, the difference will be 3-7= -4. Or in other words, a 4 foot reduction in flame length resulting from the treatment.

  2. Now you’ll want to view comparison outputs on the map and as a report. First, click the Compare in Summary Report button so the reports can begin processing.
  3. Click both Create Report buttons.

    Compare Alternatives tab with two alternatives checked.

  4. Next, click the Compare on Map button to view results on the map and give the comparison layers a few seconds to download.

    The 'Compare on Map' button is located to the left of the 'Compare in Summary Report' button.

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