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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 23(1)

Current status and future needs of the BehavePlus Fire Modeling System

Patricia L. Andrews

Retired. Formerly of the USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory, 5775 US Highway 10 West, Missoula, MT 59808, USA. Email: plandrews@fs.fed.us

International Journal of Wildland Fire 23(1) 21-33 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF12167
Submitted: 5 October 2012  Accepted: 16 April 2013   Published: 6 September 2013


 
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Abstract

The BehavePlus Fire Modeling System is among the most widely used systems for wildland fire prediction. It is designed for use in a range of tasks including wildfire behaviour prediction, prescribed fire planning, fire investigation, fuel hazard assessment, fire model understanding, communication and research. BehavePlus is based on mathematical models for fire behaviour, fire effects and fire environment. It is a point system for which conditions are constant for each calculation, but is designed to encourage examination of the effect of a range of conditions through tables and graphs. BehavePlus is successor to BEHAVE, which was developed in 1977 and became available for field application in 1984. It was updated to BehavePlus in 2002. Updates through version 5 have added features and modelling capabilities. It is becoming increasingly difficult to expand the system. A redesign will address the need for consolidation with other systems and make it easier to incorporate new research results. This paper describes the development history and application of BehavePlus. The design, features and modelling foundation of the current system are described. Considerations for the next generation are presented.

Additional keywords: crown fire, fire behaviour, fire effects, fire management, fuel, spotting distance, surface fire.


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