South Dakota Researcher Helping to Develop Fire Risk Estimation Tool

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South Dakota’s state fire meteorologist is part of a coalition using satellite technology to notify fire managers when fuels are abnormally dry.

Darren Clabo, a research scientist and instructor at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, is collaborating with colleagues from other scientific agencies including NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to create a tool called Fire Risk Estimation 2.0, or FiRE, the Rapid City Journal reported.
The vehicle analyzes drought, high-resolution fuel and precipitation conditions to create a fire hazard assessment map that landowners and firefighters can monitor daily. The vehicle will be used first in Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, but can be used more widely in the coming years.

The device was first developed in the spring of 2017, a few months before the Legion Lake fire exploded in December 2017 from Custer State Park. Clabo said the second version of the vehicle had the potential to produce warnings about fuel conditions.

Uz The biggest concern we have to monitor forest fires is to assess the status of fuels, Cla said Clabo. Zor At the moment, it is really difficult to determine the dryness of fuel in a county scale. The FiRE tool uses satellite data to keep up with first responders to suppress fires as quickly as possible. “

The device was financed by partnerships with the US Army Engineers Association and the Bureau of Indian Affairs and subsidies from the NOAA National Environmental Information Centers and NASA DEVELOPMENT.

Legion Lake fire, the third largest forest fire in the history of the Black Hills, began on 11 December 2017, when a tree fell on an overhead power line at Custer State Park. There was no snow cover in the nearby area and dry fire fuels in the form of motionless vegetation were among the factors contributing to the growth of fire.

When the fire was fully held on December 19, 2017, it spread from Custer State Park to Wind Cave National Park and privately owned land.

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