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Fire Weather - pwsFWI

Discussion of the Cumulusutils tool and website generator.

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Re: Fire Weather - pwsFWI

Post by HansR »

meteosangonera wrote: Tue 18 Aug 2020 5:37 pm Today a small fire was registered in my village, in a ravine at the foot of the Carrascoy mountains.

I leave you a little video of the "ridiculous" affected area. Only 0.2Ha

https://twitter.com/112rmurcia/status/1 ... 1494284288
Thanks!! (I was already wondering how things went ;) )

I must say that apparently on the Iberian peninsula (so including Portugal) fortunately not so many fires are reported so far this year. Other years have been worse.
People have become more careful I assume and few accidents take place. The warning level is as high as ever. The same holds for France. I have not really a good view on the other countries around the Mediterranean but, following the news, I believe this year has not been as bad as some years in the past (remember the great fires in Portugal and Spain 2017/18 I believe)

This little fire shows - probably also by good fortune and good winds - there is a good fire management and competent fire brigade available.
I did see reports of larger fires in other areas in Spain but nowhere it got out of hand.

Good for you!

At the end of September, I will remove the warning under the pwsFWI table that behavioural testing is still under way.
I have a firm believe pwsFWI corresponds well with standing Fire Weather Indices and the season in Australia and now in Europe has been proving that.
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Re: Fire Weather - pwsFWI

Post by HansR »

In the turmoil of the disastrous fires in California (See here and here) we are reminded of what lack of rain can do. After Australia last summer a more or less similar situation is there. And lightning seems to be the cause.

And in Europe there is also drought but fortunately no disastrous fires.

Nevertheless the fires are creeping northbound: in spring there was a very dry period and in the Netherlands we had two large (500 ha) fires. Stéphane recently gave me an article about a fire (in French) of several dozen of hectares 80 kilometers south of him in an area that lost about 1,800 acres to the fire in 2000. Far from his weather station but still indicative of his yellow hazard level (first of august!).

Note that after such fires, an area is relatively safe because it has run out of fuel. The forest has to grow for several years before the danger returns.
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Re: Fire Weather - pwsFWI

Post by HansR »

As promised at the release of utils v4.2.3:
I will be preparing a short blog with some additional arguments for the pwsFWI type of fire indices and the practical use in current professional fire fighting software. Not that I think you can fight fire with software, but it shows the use of fire modelling and has the argument of awareness. Also in this context, look at the new SpotWX Forecast system (and its linked tables) which is now default for CumulusUtils.
So I wrote the blog.
Hans

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Re: Fire Weather - pwsFWI

Post by HansR »

With the start of the meteorological autumn (Norther Hemisphere, down under it'll be spring) it is interesting to note:
  1. The hottest and driest station with pwsFWI seems to be meteosangonera and over there the season is going to its end with values now back in the blue and yellow danger zones after having been in the red zone for almost two months. Fortunately only two small fires were reported in that area. People seem to be very conscious about fire over there. Lack of tourists may have had influence as well.
  2. A second station in Spain carrying pwsFWI is only a small 200 km south-east of San Sebastian and apparently out of reach of the Pyrenees. It shows similar fire danger characteristics as meteosangonera. Unfortunately there is no other info and no contact with that station but Google Earth shows the area is a fertile open plain of agricultural lands and lack of forest. So cropfires may happen but large wildfire is far away. Interesting though is again the influence of the Pyrenees and the very big weather type difference with San Sebastian which is so close.
  3. The pwsFWI stations in Eastern Australia are beginning to show signs of heating up again which is quite early in the season. The first of August there was already an article stating: Bush fire season starts ALREADY in New South Wales. Let's hope it doesn't get as bad as last year.
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Re: Fire Weather - pwsFWI

Post by HansR »

While the fire season in Australia and New Zealand has started and the season in the Northern Hemisphere is coming to an end (though California is still burning after a season much like the 2019/20 Australian one) than, if you were not aware that fire is important as a factor in ecology, as an indicator and as a consequence of climate change, you are now.

As a consequence of that importance the scientists flock together and hold meetings. A positive spin-off of covid-19 is that they are held online and that specific community apparently has decided to make those events public. This time is on the theme Fire Across Boundaries, webinars and it contains also a film festival: The Virtual Fire Ecology Film Festival.

The festival contains 23 films which you can see online and on you can vote.
  1. The main site for the event.
  2. The entry for the webinars (you need to subscribe)
  3. The virtual filmfestival (23 films can be seen now, vote until 20 October).
Hans

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Re: Fire Weather - pwsFWI

Post by meteosangonera »

HansR wrote: Mon 05 Oct 2020 6:05 pm While the fire season in Australia and New Zealand has started and the season in the Northern Hemisphere is coming to an end (though California is still burning after a season much like the 2019/20 Australian one) than, if you were not aware that fire is important as a factor in ecology, as an indicator and as a consequence of climate change, you are now.

As a consequence of that importance the scientists flock together and hold meetings. A positive spin-off of covid-19 is that they are held online and that specific community apparently has decided to make those events public. This time is on the theme Fire Across Boundaries, webinars and it contains also a film festival: The Virtual Fire Ecology Film Festival.

The festival contains 23 films which you can see online and on you can vote.
  1. The main site for the event.
  2. The entry for the webinars (you need to subscribe)
  3. The virtual filmfestival (23 films can be seen now, vote until 20 October).

Very interesting. Thanks HansR
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Re: Fire Weather - pwsFWI

Post by meteosangonera »

Hi, everybody.

In case anyone is interested, I leave you with the link to the "unofficial" summary of the most important forest fires in Spain during the summer of 2020.

https://almazcara.forestry.es/p/grandes ... ana_7.html

PS: Only in Spanish
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Re: Fire Weather - pwsFWI

Post by HansR »

Thank you :!: :shock:
That is considerable, even if you take into account that not every fire registered by satellite sensors is a true wildfire. The large fires are indicated and substantial!
(With Google translate it is easy. )
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Re: Fire Weather - pwsFWI

Post by HansR »

Just received a link to an overview site of Australia. Good moment to summarize the overview links so far.
I may repeat this when other overview sites are posted here or mailed to me.
  1. Europe : EFFIS
  2. Canada : Canadian Wildland Fire Information System (h/t PaulMy)
  3. Australia : Bushfire.io (h/t billy)
Keep sending me overview links, still missing large parts of the world!
Individual countries or states you can post below, overviews of larger areas as above I will put in the list.

NOTE:
- EFFIS can also be used for larger parts of the world as it is output of Copernicus.
- Though it is far from as bad as last year, Australia is currently in the height of the fire season with situations in Queensland and around Perth. The listed site has been created because of the summer of 2020 wildfires.
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Re: Fire Weather - pwsFWI

Post by HansR »

With an almost 'boring' summer in Australia after the 2019/20 firy summer and the European fire season being very late because of a postponed spring, you might be interested in some theory on pwsFWI. I just finished my Wiki article - in the process of bringing the manual to the Wiki - and think it is worth pointing to it.
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Re: Fire Weather - pwsFWI

Post by HansR »

Now we are approaching the end of September, autumn has struck and the end of the fire season in the Northern hemisphere is there meaning we shift our attention back to the southern hemisphere.

I would like to refer to the link @meteosangonera posted last year with a fire summary for Spain. Very informational and I will repeat that link here for 2021 (not final of course): https://almazcara.forestry.es/p/gif2021.html. This summer was dramatic for the Mediterranean countries Spain, Italy and Greece with lot of fires instigated by an enduring draught. Unfortunately EFFIS does not cover the Mediterranean countries of Africa but it was pretty bad there as well.

The overall summary for Europe is given by EFFIS in the following chart:
    Schermafbeelding 2021-09-24 084151.jpg
      Full reports per country you can find here: https://effis.jrc.ec.europa.eu/apps/eff ... timates/EU

      The current situation as always you can find here: https://effis.jrc.ec.europa.eu/apps/eff ... situation/
      (Note that you can see the volcano on La Palma and that Spain is currently fire free :
        Schermafbeelding 2021-09-24 084614.jpg
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          Re: Fire Weather - pwsFWI

          Post by Phil23 »

          We've had good Spring Grass & Pasture growth down here over the past month or so, but now it's drying out into fuel.

          Interesting that the index is dropping over the next few days; hopefully it's the predicted rain that will slow the climb of the current FWI.
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          Re: Fire Weather - pwsFWI

          Post by HansR »

          I associate Liverpool (Parkgate) with a lot of things but definitely not with wildfires. And certainly not in march.
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          Re: Fire Weather - pwsFWI

          Post by watsonm »

          Hans,

          While waiting for some data to update after a code change on my system I started wondering about the FWI.

          We have had quite a few wild fires in the UK recently in this fine weather and I noticed my FWI is currently 320 and in the blue (moderate). I checked a few other sites and they all seem to be in the blue having moved up from the green in the past weeks. I would have thought with the current situation it would already be in the yellow (I see yours predicts yellow in a few days time).

          I appreciate it is a very complex science but am I interpreting the gauges too severely?
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          Re: Fire Weather - pwsFWI

          Post by HansR »

          watsonm wrote: Thu 11 Aug 2022 9:27 am While waiting for some data to update after a code change on my system I started wondering about the FWI.

          We have had quite a few wild fires in the UK recently in this fine weather and I noticed my FWI is currently 320 and in the blue (moderate). I checked a few other sites and they all seem to be in the blue having moved up from the green in the past weeks. I would have thought with the current situation it would already be in the yellow (I see yours predicts yellow in a few days time).

          I appreciate it is a very complex science but am I interpreting the gauges too severely?
          Mike,

          Indeed, interpretation is difficult. I made an effort to explain in the Wiki, I assume you read it. The crux is in the sentence:
          This Fire Weather Index is about the risk of ignition and the ease of propagation.
          I have the following points:
          1. Wildfires can be forest but also heathland and that last may very well be what you are talking about.
          2. The second thing which must be appreciated is the iginition which is mostly (>90%) caused by humans. Not necessarily on purpose but a run away campfire or sparks blown by the wind are also human caused.
          3. pwsFWI was originally created and calibrated for forests which always dry out much slower than heathland or gorse shrub. In areas with high humanoid pressure (tourists, city people) heathland and similar may more easily lead to wildfire than in forest areas.
          4. You have to remember that any FWI is an indicator (index) of a risk, not an indicator of a certainty to fire.
          It might be an idea to create a second calibration for heath/shrub land and have the user choose in the configuration, maybe even have two different reports. But I am not sure about that.

          Anyway, pwsFWI needs to be interpreted for forest areas basically.

          Comparing the EFFIS warning level (you need to tick Fire Danger Forecast) to pwsFWI, we see that only the SE corner of England is on high alert, the rest does not get any higher than my level blue/yellow so I think pwsFWI is doing not too bad.

          NOTE: EFFIS uses an uncommon 7 level warning, also with deviating colours. For the rest they are based on the original Canadian FWI. Study will reveal the complexity and costs of this type of FWI.
          Hans

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