Podur, J; Wotton, BM (2011). Defining fire spread event days for fire-growth modelling. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF WILDLAND FIRE, 20(4), 497-507.
Forest fire managers have long understood that most of a fire's growth typically occurs on a small number of days when burning conditions are conducive for spread. Fires either grow very slowly at low intensity or burn considerable area in a 'run'. A simple classification of days into 'spread events' and 'non-spread events' can greatly improve estimates of area burned. Studies with fire-growth models suggest that the Canadian Forest Fire Behaviour Prediction System (FBP System) seems to predict growth well during high-intensity 'spread events' but tends to overpredict rate of spread for non-spread events. In this study, we provide an objective weather-based definition of 'spread events', making it possible to assess the probability of having a spread event on any particular day. We demonstrate the benefit of incorporating this 'spread event' day concept into a fire-growth model based on the Canadian FBP System.