PCHA - USDA Forest Service

PCHA - USDA Forest Service
Personal Computer Historic Analysis (PCHA)
Users’ Guide
USDA Forest Service
USDI Bureau of Land Management
USDI Bureau of Indian Affairs
USDI Fish and Wildlife Service
USDI National Park Service
03/20/2005
Preface
This document describes the functions of the PC Historical Analysis module of the Fire Program
Analysis (FPA) system. Individuals from the USDA Forest Service, USDI Bureau of Land
Management, USDI Bureau of Indian Affairs, USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, and USDI
National Park Service participated in the development of FPA. If you find errors, omissions, or
items that need correction, please send your comments to the address below.
USDA Forest Service
National Systems Unit
3833 S. Development Ave
Boise, ID 83705
(800) 253-5559
To talk to someone at the Support desk with questions and/or comments regarding this
publication or any of the fire applications mentioned, call 800-253-5559.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents............................................................................................................................. i
Chapter 1 - Introduction..........................................................................................................Page 1
Chapter 2 - General Process Flow ..........................................................................................Page 9
Chapter 3 - The File Menu....................................................................................................Page 15
Chapter 4 - The Weather Menu ............................................................................................Page 21
Chapter 5 - The Fire Menu....................................................................................................Page 39
Chapter 6 - The GIS Menu....................................................................................................Page 65
Chapter 7 - The FPA Menu...................................................................................................Page 74
Chapter 8 - The Reports Menu............................................................................................Page 108
Chapter 9 - The Utilities Menu ...........................................................................................Page 110
Chapter 10 - The Help Menu ..............................................................................................Page 128
References...........................................................................................................................Page 129
Appendix A – Forest Service PCHA Report Format..........................................................Page 131
Appendix B – Department of Interior DI-1202 Report Format..........................................Page 135
Appendix C – Weather .fwx File Format............................................................................Page 143
Appendix D – Weather Observation Data Transfer Format 1998 (.fw9) ...........................Page 147
Appendix E – GIS Formats.................................................................................................Page 151
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
i
ii
PCHA Users’ Guide – 3/20/2005
Introduction
Welcome to the PCHA software program. The software has been developed to support the
historical analysis process within the Fire Program Analysis system. PCHA allows for the
import of fire occurrence and daily weather observation data for a Fire Planning Unit (FPU) to
support the generation of fire event scenarios. Bighorn Information Systems developed PCHA
under contract with the USDI Bureau of Land Management. PCHA may accept all legacy
PCHA database files.
The fire occurrence and weather data records imported to PCHA reside in national corporate
databases. Forest Service fire occurrence records are stored in the National Interagency Fire
Management Integrated database (NIFMID). The U.S. Department of Interior agency fire
occurrence records are stored in Boise, Idaho. Weather data records are also stored in the
NIFMID database. Both data sets are available for downloading from the Internet.
How This Users’ Guide Is Organized
The General Processing Flow chart that follows describes the process steps and provides some
background material on external tasks required before starting PCHA runs. The other chapters
describe what to do on each of the screens. The sections, with a few exceptions, have the same
name as the commands on the PCHA menus.
Conventions Used In This Users’ Guide
Figure 1
Bold text and arrows will designate selection of menu items.
An example is: Fire > Edit Fires. This notation directs the
user to click on the Fire menu on the program taskbar and
then to select the Edit Fires menu (Figure 1). In addition,
bold underlined text will designate the clicking of buttons or
tabs; i.e. Browse.
Outline Format and Context
The outline format for section heading of this guide is as follows:
Level 1 – Times Roman 18 Bold
Level 2 – Times Roman 14 Bold
Level 3 – Times Roman 12 Bold, Underline
Level 4 – Times Roman 12 Bold, Italic, Underline
Level 5 - Times Roman 12 Bold
Level 6 - Times Roman 12 Bold, Italic
Level 7 – Times Roman 12
Level 8 - Times Roman 12, Italic
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 1
Program Availability
The PCHA software installation file, when released, may be downloaded from the Internet. The
URL is as follows:
http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/planning/nist/distribu.htm
It will also be available on a CD ROM from the National Helpdesk, which may be reached by
calling (800) 253-5559.
Until that time, the current beta version of the PCHA software installation file may be
downloaded from:
http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/nfmas-beta/
Program Installation
The following text describes the tasks necessary to install PCHA on a personal computer.
Minimum System Requirements
Before program installation, verify that the computer meets the following minimum system
requirements:
Table 1 – Minimum System Requirements
Item
Required
Operating System
Windows 95 or higher
CPU
80386
Monitor Resolution
800 x 600
RAM
4 MB
Available Memory on the Hard Drive
5 Gigibits
Mouse
Yes
Any configured for use with the
Printer
operating system
Recommended
Same
Pentium
Same
256 MB
Same
Same
Color
Program Download Instructions from the NFMAS-Beta Site
Download instructions are as follows:
Step 1
Open Internet Explorer or any web browser.
Step 2
Navigate to the URL below:
http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/nfmas-beta/
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Step 3
Click on the PCHA link. The screen in
Figure 2 will be displayed.
Figure 2
Step 4
Click Save on the screen shown in Figure
2.
Step 5
Navigate to the folder on the computer
where the PCHA installation file titled
SetupPCHA.exe is to be saved. Be sure to
write down this file location. Click Save.
Program Download Instructions from the NFMAS Distribution Site
Download instructions are as follows:
Step 1
Open Internet Explorer on any web browser.
Step 2
Navigate to the URL below:
http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/planning/nist/distribu.htm
Step 3
Scroll down the page to software, NFMAS modules. Double-click on PCHA_Version 1.2. link
where X is the current version.
Step 4
On the next screen, double click on the PCHA_Version 1.2.X Download File link.
Step 5
Double-click on the PCHASetup.exe link. The screen in Figure 2 will be displayed.
Step 6
Click Save on the screen shown in Figure 2.
Step 7
Navigate to the folder on the computer where the PCHA installation file titled SetupPCHA.exe is
to be saved. Be sure to write down this file location. Click Save.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 3
Installation Instructions
The setup program installs the programs and support files required to run PCHA. The installation
must be performed within the Windows environment.
Step 1
Program installation on most agency computers requires the user to have Administrator
privileges. If necessary, have a user with Administrator privileges log onto the computer to
perform the program installation. It is recommended the user have read and write permission for
the folder into which PCHA is to be installed.
Step 2
Start Windows Explorer.
Step 3
If the SetupPCHA.exe file has been downloaded from the Internet, navigate to the folder where it
was saved.
If the distribution CD ROM is being used, place the CD ROM in the CD ROM drive and
navigate to the location of the SetupPCHA.exe file.
Step 4
Double-click on PCHA_install.exe. Install Shield will unpack PCHA. The user will be
prompted throughout the following boxes:
The Welcome box will open. Click Next to continue setup.
The user will be prompted to accept the default location of:
c:\fsapps\fsprod\fam\nfmas\pcha
If desired, change this to another location by clicking on the Browse button. Click Next to accept
the default or click Browse to change the location. Once this activity has been completed, click
Next to continue.
The user will be prompted to select a program folder. The default is FPA. To accept click Next,
to change scroll through the list of available choices or enter a new choice, then click Next to
continue.
PCHA will install.
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Navigating in PCHA
This documentation assumes the user knows how to use a mouse, open a menu, and choose a
menu and dialog options. For those who need a refresher, the following brief review may help.
Using a Mouse
Using a mouse to run PCHA is much faster than keyboard control, and is much more efficient.
The mouse moves the “cursor” (usually an arrow) around the monitor screen. To select an item
on the screen, click on it by pressing the left mouse button. The left mouse button is used in the
PCHA program. In some cases, it is necessary to click the mouse button twice in rapid
succession. This action is called a double-click.
Menus
Figure 3 – Main Menu on Program Taskbar
The program taskbar across the top of
PCHA screen contains menus (Figure 3).
The planner may select a menu either by
clicking on it with the mouse, or by using
the keyboard. To use the keyboard, press
and release the ALT key. The planner will
see the File menu item highlighted. Select the menu desired by pressing the highlighted letter or
by moving the cursor with the right, left, up and down arrow keys. Then press the ENTER key
once the desired menu item is highlighted. If the ALT key is pressed by mistake, press the ESC
key to exit from the menu.
Some menu items have a right facing arrow on the right side of the menu (Figure 4). This
indicates that there is a sub-menu with more choices. Clicking on the small arrow will open the
sub-menu and give more choices related to the menu item.
Figure 4 – Example of Sub-menus
Screen Tabs
Both the Edit Weather and Edit Fire screens use folder
Figure 5
tabs to display a portion of the information stored for
those data groups (Figure 5). The command buttons and
some information show all the time above or below the
tabs. Click on the tab to display the information desired. For example, the Daily Obs. tab shows
a daily weather observation.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 5
The Tab Key
The TAB key moves the cursor from one field to
another field on an Edit screen or a Dialog box. To
move backwards, hold down the SHIFT key and press
the TAB key. For example, refer to Figure 6. The
cursor is moved from one cell to another in a specific
order by pressing the TAB key.
Figure 6
Command Buttons
Many screens have Command Buttons such as OK, Exit, or Save. Clicking on the command
button with the mouse will activate that command. If there is an underlined letter, the planner
may also hold the ALT key down and press the underlined letter to activate the Command
button.
Figure 7 – Command Buttons
Use of Command Buttons
All of these buttons are usable from any of the tabs to enter a new record or a search.
Save Button
The Save button saves the information for the active data to the PCHA database. Until this
button is clicked, any changes made in fields are not permanently saved to the PCHA database.
Clear Button
The Clear button resets all data fields to blank.
Delete Button
This button deletes the current record from the database. If there are no records in the database or
displayed on the screen, this button will appear light gray and will be inoperative.
Labels in Italics
On some screens, some labels for fields are in italic
(slanted) text (Figure 8). Fields designated this way
are searchable fields. For example, the Wind Speed
field allows the planner to search for a single wind
speed value or wind speed values greater than or
less than a specific value.
Page 6
Figure 8
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Begin Search Button
Click Begin Search to find the first record in the database or the first record that meets defined
search criteria.
Search Criteria Button
Click Search Criteria to clear the screen and define the fields that will control, which records
you want to find in the database. Fields with their names written in italic text are available for
searches. After the criteria are entered, click Begin Search.
Figure 9
For example, the planner may search for all observations with
temperatures greater than 50. Click Search Criteria , click in the
Obs Temp field. Enter the following >50 and then click Begin
Search, (Figure 9).
Searching may be done based on a range of values. For example, to
find precipitation events between 2 inches and 10 inches, click
Search Criteria . Click in the Precipitation Amount field and enter
>=2.0 and <=10.0. Click Begin Search. This search will find all active weather observations
where the daily precipitation was between 2 inches and 10 inches.
First, Previous, Next, and Last Buttons
The First button displays the first record in the database or the search list. The Previous and
Next buttons display the record before or after the current record. The Last button displays the
last record in the database or search list. These buttons appear light gray if there are no records in
the database or displayed on the screen.
Find Button
Unlike the Search Criteria and Begin Search buttons, which retrieve a set of records to view,
the Find button is used to jump to desired records within those already retrieved with Begin
Search. Click Find and then select Clear for Find from the pop-up menu. This will clear all
fields. Enter the value(s) to determine the desired record, and then click Find and select Find
from the pop-up menu. To move from this record to another similar record after a Find
command, click Find and then select Find Next or Find Previous from the pop-up menu.
Exit Button
The Exit button closes the screen and returns the user to the main PCHA screen.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 7
Option Radio Buttons
Figure 10 - Option Box with Radio Buttons
Some screens have Radio Buttons (small
circles) where the planner may select one
item from the group. When the planner
chooses one, a small black dot notes the
selected option. In the example in Figure
10, the Delete ALL Fires option has been
selected. The planner may select an option
by clicking on wording with the mouse.
The planner may also select an option by
using the up or down arrows to highlight
the desired Option. Select that option by pressing the OK key.
List Boxes
Some screens have List Boxes with a pulldown list.
The planner may choose one item by clicking on it
with the mouse (Figure 11).
Figure 11 – List Box
Shortcut
When the planner highlights a list box, the planner
may press a valid letter or number in the list box. In
the example in Figure 11, pressing a number from 0 to
7 will cause the item to be highlighted. Pressing the
ENTER key will select the highlighted item.
Using Online Documentation and Help
The PCHA release includes this documentation in electronic form to help guide the planner. In
addition, there is extensive online help for nearly every field and command. Many parts of
PCHA include context-sensitive help. Full online help may not be available for work needed to
support Fire Program Analysis, FPA.
Product Support
Several groups and individuals support the PCHA software. Federal users should first contact
their agency support personnel for assistance. Forest Service and other users should contact local
and regional support personnel before contacting the National F&AM Application Helpdesk.
Page 8
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
General Process Flow
The process used to complete an analysis in Fire Program Assessment (FPA) starts with the
establishment of the FPU in FPA-PM. Refer to the Users’ Guide for FPA-PM and the FPA-PM
Reference Guide for instructions on this process.
The purpose of Historical Analysis is the review and validation of fire occurrence and weather
data for use in the creation of a fire event scenario. A fire event is a single wildland fire
measured in time from its estimated ignition time until declared out. A fire event is the
collective sum of attributes that describe the statistical and physical characteristics of the fire.
Grouping of fire events yields a fire event scenario.
The creation of a fire event scenario is accomplished using PCHA. Figure 12 shows the link
between the FPA-PM program and the PCHA program. The FPUs are created in FPA-PM by
the importing into FPA-PM of GIS shape files. A FPA shape file containing all of the FMUs is
then downloaded to the local computer from FPA-PM. The FPA shape file this then imported
into PCHA creating the FMUs in PCHA. After a fire event scenario is created by PCHA, the fire
planner imports the resulting file to FPA-PM.
The process flow for tasks to be performed in PCHA is described via a stepwise process in Table
2. Provided in the table is the page number in this Users’ Guide where implementation details
are provided for a step. Also provided in the table is the page number in the FPA-PM Reference
Guide where technical documentation and guidance are provided.
Figure 12 – Process Flow Between FPA-PM and PCHA
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 9
Table 2 - Process Steps to Completion of Historic Analysis Using PCHA
Step
Description
Users’
Guide
Page
PCHA
Menu
Reference
Guide
Page
1
Install PCHA on the computer.
1a Setting up PCHA start icon.
2
In PCHA, define the planning unit.
2a Input data.
2b Import FMUs from FPA-PM.
2c Edit FMU Slope Class
3
3a
3b
3c
3d
3e
3f
3g
4
4a
Page 10
Define weather stations, weather data
sets and retrieve these records.
For each FMU, determine if weather
stations will be used to develop the
weather data set for the FMU or if the
GRID weather process will be used.
For each FMU where weather stations
will be used, determine the weather
stations to use.
For FMUs where GRID weather will
be used, estimate the latitude and
longitude for a point that will represent
the FMU.
Define the weather stations and GRID
weather data sets in PCHA.
For weather stations being used,
retrieve all available weather records
from the corporate database or other
recommended sources.
For FMUs where GRID weather data
sets will be used, retrieve the data set
via the Internet.
Import all weather records and weather
data sets into PCHA.
Retrieve Fire Report Records.
Retrieve all available fire occurrence
records from the corporate database.
File > Planning Unit
Setup
FPA > Import FPA-PM
Layer to Start New
Analysis
FPA > Edit FMU Slope
Class
File > Weather Stations
Weather > Import
(Applicable Format)
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Table 2 - Process Steps to Completion of Historic Analysis Using PCHA
Step
Description
PCHA
Menu
Users’
Guide
Page
Reference
Guide
Page
If necessary, transform an agency’s fire
occurrence records into a format that
4b
may be used to import these fire
occurrence records into PCHA.
4c Import all fire records into PCHA.
4d
5
Implement substitute measures if fire
records are not available.
Verify completeness and accuracy of
weather records.
5a Repair invalid weather observations.
5b
6
6a
6b
6c
6d
6e
7
7a
7b
7b1
Fires > Import Fires >
(Applicable Sub-menu)
Do queries to find obvious invalid
weather observation values.
Use weather records.
Assign weather station(s) or GRID
weather data set to each FMU
Create the weather data set for each
FMU.
Check for missing weather
observations.
Implement additional weather data
gathering processes if necessary. If
necessary, go to Step 3.
If wildland fire use will be used in any
FMU in the FPU, define the criteria for
the fire ending weather event for each
applicable FMU.
Verify completeness and accuracy of
fire occurrence records.
Check for possible duplicate fires
occurrence records.
Assign latitude and longitude to fires
where necessary.
Determine the appropriate latitude and
longitude for the fire’s ignition
location. Enter it manually into the
fire’s record in PCHA.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Weather > Repair
Invalid Weather
Observations
Weather > Edit Weather
Observations
FPA > Assign Wx
Stations to FMUs
FPA > Create FMU
Weather Data Set
FPA > View Missing
Weather Report
FPA > Determine
Waiting Time
Distribution
FPA > Report Possible
Duplicate Fires
Use Fires > Edit Fires >
Location Tab.
Page 11
Table 2 - Process Steps to Completion of Historic Analysis Using PCHA
Step
Description
Users’
Guide
Page
PCHA
Menu
Reference
Guide
Page
Or
7b2
7c
7d
8
8a
Automatically assign latitude and
longitude from Township, Section,
Range and Meridian.
Check for accuracy and completeness
of required or recommended data
fields.
Edit fire occurrence records.
Use fire occurrence records.
Assign each historic fire that occurred
during the Analysis Period to an FMU.
8b Review FMU assignment results.
For fires without an assigned FMU,
make changes to the fire record.
If the latitude and longitude are
incorrect, determine and enter the
8c1
correct latitude and longitude. Then
repeat Step 6a.
Or
Fire > Calculate
Lat/Lon from Legal
FPA > Fires Missing
Data Required for FPA
Fire > Edit Fire Records
FPA > Assign FMUs to
Fires Using GIS
FPA > View FMU
Assignment Results
8c
8c2 Manually assign fires to an FMU.
Calculate and make edits if necessary
to each FMU fire workload point.
Locate and gather topographic grid
9
files.
Use spatial fuel types for some or all
FMUs by locating or generating fuel
10
type grid files. (Optional – Complete
this Step or Step 12)
Locate and make available fuel type
10a
grid files.
Or
Generate and make available fuel type
10b
grid files.
Obtain in a GIS Format the Vegetation
10-b1
Data Layer
8d
Page 12
Fire > Edit Fires >
Location Tab.
Fire > Edit Fires > FPA
Tab
FPA > Calculate/Edit
FMU Workload Point
FPA > Identify FMU
ASCII Grid Files
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Table 2 - Process Steps to Completion of Historic Analysis Using PCHA
Step
Description
Obtain the Availability and
10-b2 Commitment of Necessary Resource
Specialists
Utilize the Specialists to Assign a
10-b3 Value for each of the Five Fuel Type
Attributes to Each Vegetation Class
Use the Services of a GIS Specialist to
10-b4
Creates the Five ASCII GRID Files
In PCHA, specify the path to the folder
10c
containing the fuel type grid files
Collect FMU ASCII grid files into
11
PCHA.
Use non-spatial fuel types for some or
all FMUs by developing fuel types for
the FPU and assigning these the
12
occurrence proportion for each fuel
type to the applicable FMUs. (Optional
– Complete this Step or Step 10)
12a Define all of the fuel types in the FPU.
Obtain in a GIS format the vegetation
12a-1
data layer
Obtain the availability and commitment
12a-2
of necessary resource specialists
Utilize the specialists to assign a value
12a-3 for each of the five fuel type attributes
to each vegetation class
For each FMU where non-spatial fuel
12b types will be used, assign the percent of
the FMU that exists in each fuel type.
Edit NFDRS Fuel Models to Use for
WFU and ERC Calculation, Rain Days
13
for WFU use and WFU spread days
percent.
14
15
16
Calculate fire behavior and wind speed
bins and fire probabilities.
Determine preparedness staffing
season.
Prepare the fire event scenario.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
PCHA
Menu
Users’
Guide
Page
Reference
Guide
Page
FPA > Identify FMU
ASCII Grid Files
FPA > Collect FMU
ASCII Grid Information
FPA > FPU Fuel Types
FPA > FMU Fuel Type
Percents
FPA > Edit FMU
Attributes
FPA > Calculate ERCg
and Wind Speed Bins,
Fire Probabilities
FPA > Determine
Preparedness Season
Page 13
Table 2 - Process Steps to Completion of Historic Analysis Using PCHA
Step
Description
Prepare probability-based fire event
16a
scenario.
Users’
Guide
Page
PCHA
Menu
Reference
Guide
Page
FPA > Prepare
Probability-based Fire
Event Scenario and
XML File for FPA
Or
16b
Prepare historic-based fire event
scenario.
17
View FPA scenario details.
18
Transfer XML file to FMA-PM. Use
FPA-PM to do this.
Page 14
FPA > Prepare Historicbased Fire Event
Scenario and XML File
for FPA
FPA > View FPA
Scenario Details
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
The File Menu
The file menu allows the planner to create or open an
existing PCHA database, to create and edit attributes of the
FPU and to define and edit attributes for weather stations to
be used. The planner may print a screen using the Print
Screen menu items. The Exit menu item allows the planner
to quit the program (Figure 13).
Figure 13 – The File Menu
The PCHA Database
All data entered or imported via the PCHA program is stored
in a Microsoft Access® database. The file extension for this
database is mdb.
New Database
Figure 14
This menu item allows the planner to create
a new PCHA database. This activity is
preformed when a new FPU is created.
When this menu is selected, the dialog
screen shown in Figure 14 appears. As
with all files, a name must be designated
for this new database. Enter that name in
the box provided using only characters that
are allowed in the Windows® file naming convention. For example, the name Example is
entered in Figure 14. The new database will have a file name of PCHA99Example.mdb. Notice
the program adds the PCHA99 identifiers in front of the name specified.
Open Existing Database
Figure 15
This menu item allows the planner to open
a currently defined PCHA database. When
this menu item is selected, the standard file
open dialog (Figure 15) is displayed. The
default location where PCHA looks for
existing databases is in the folder where the
PCHA software is installed. If the desired
PCHA database is not located there,
navigate to the folder where the database is
located. Click on the file so that it appears
in the File name box at the bottom of the
dialog screen and click Open. When
PCHA is started, the last active database is
opened automatically.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 15
Planning Unit Setup
Before the planner may import weather and fire records, the
Planning Unit Setup values must be entered. Once these
values are defined, the planner will not usually need to return
to the Planning Unit Setup menu.
Figure 16 – The Planning
Unit Setup Menu
Selecting the Planning Unit Setup screen will display the
screen shown in Figure 17. The last part of the screen in
Figure 17 is used to select the fire planning process being
used. This controls the menu options made available. Select
the FPA radio button.
Unit Name
Enter the FPU name. This is an optional but highly recommended entry.
Agency
Click on the pulldown to select the agency group that best describes the agencies participating in
the FPU. If more than one agency is participating, select Interagency.
Figure 17 – The Planning Unit Setup Screen
Page 16
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Preparedness Staffing Season
For FPA, disregard this entry as the Preparedness Staffing Season starting and ending dates are
automatically determined by the program (FPA > Determine Preparedness Staffing Season).
The Preparedness Staffing Season is defined by PCHA as the period(s) containing 90% of the
fires in the Analysis Period. Multiple discontinuous periods may be designated.
Analysis Years
Enter the beginning and ending years for the specified analysis. Data may be imported beyond
the analysis years, but most reports only show fires within the analysis period. Fire occurrence
records may contain fires from 1970 to 1995, but if the analysis period is from 1986 to 1993 then
only fires from 1986 through 1993 will be used.
Enter the beginning year (e.g. 1984) and the ending year (e.g. 2003) to define the analysis period.
Latitude
Enter the average latitude for the FPU as an integer.
UTM Zone for GIS
Enter the UTM Zone for the FPU. If a UTM zone is entered into this box, PCHA will project
any GIS layers viewed in UTM. If the layers to be viewed are in geographic projection
(latitude/longitude), leave this box blank. For example, if you desire to view the FMU shape file
from FPA-PM, leave this box blank, since its projection is geographic. If you do need to view
UTM layers, ask your GIS personnel for the zone. They have selected one to represent your
Planning Unit.
The Highlight Color Button
The default light color (the color shown in the box where entries are made) is yellow. To change
this color from the default, click on Highlight Color. Select the color desired from the 48 basic
colors or create a custom color.
Figure 18 – The Weather
Stations Menu
Weather Stations
Selecting File > Weather Stations the screen shown in
Figure 19. Figure 19 shown an example of data to be entered
for each weather station identified for use in the analysis.
PCHA requires all data fields be completed. Each weather
station must be defined before weather observations for a
weather data set may be imported. One source for most of the
information is the WIMS station catalog available at
http://famweb.nwcg.gov/weatherfirecd/.
Search Button
Click Search to find the first weather station record in the
database. Once weather station is displayed, the planner may use First, Previous, Next, and
Last to move through the stations. The planner may also search for a particular weather station.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 17
Station ID
Enter the six-digit weather station identifier. The station identifier may contain both numbers and
letters. Be sure to include any leading zeros in the identifier (e.g. 061432).
Figure 19 – Screen to Define Weather Stations Attributes
Station Name
Enter the station name (up to 12 characters). This entry is optional but strongly recommended.
Many people know the station name but not the station number.
Fuel Model
Enter the NFDRS fuel model assigned to this station. Valid entries are letters A-L and N-U.
Table 3 contains a list of NFDRS fuel models.
Table 3 – NFDRS Fuel Models
Fuel Model
Description
A
Western annual grass
B
California mixed chaparral
C
Pine grass savannah
D
Southern rough
E
Hardwoods (winter)
F
Intermediate brush
G
Closed short needle conifer (heavy)
H
Closed short needle conifer (light)
I
Heavy logging slash
J
Medium logging slash
Page 18
Fuel Model
K
L
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
Description
Light logging slash
Western perennial grass
Sawgrass
High pocosin
Southern pine plantation
Alaska black spruce
Hardwoods (summer)
Alaska tundra
Sagebrush grass
Western long needle conifer
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Latitude (Degrees)
Enter the latitude in degrees for the station. This value affects fire danger calculations. Daylight
length changes with latitude and season, which affects solar radiation on fuels.
Elevation
Enter the elevation in feet above mean sea level of the station. This value affects the calculation
of fire behavior indices PCHA adjusts the fire behavior indices from the weather
station site to the fire location.
Use 88 NFDRS
Check the box if the 1988 version of NFDRS is to be used. Additional
required inputs include the starting greenness factor for both herbaceous
and shrub vegetation, the default Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI),
the average annual precipitation, the starting 1000-h timelag fuel
moisture and designation of live woody vegetation as deciduous or
evergreen (Figure 20). Checking this option will enable the use of 1988
NFDRS models in calculations. Some calculated values will show for
each day in the '88 NFDRS tab. This box should remain unchecked
unless all the required data is available. Although 88 NFDRS is shown
as an option in PCHA, the daily data required in order to facilitate it are
not available to PCHA users. At this time, selecting 88NFDRS by
clicking this the checkbox has no effect.
Figure 20
Aspect
Select the aspect the weather station is on.
Climate Class
Table 4 – Climate Class Definitions
Select the climate class that best
Code
Definition
describes the rainfall regime in the FMU
1
Arid, semiarid.
represented by the weather station
2
Subhumid (rainfall deficient in summer)
(Table 4). Climate class defines variable
3
Subhumid (rainfall adequate in all seasons)
drying rates for annual, perennial, and
4
Wet
woody plants within the live fuel
moisture model. Plants have adapted to various moisture regimes and respond differently to
rainfall. Those adapted to moist environments lose moisture faster than those from dry
environments. Plants growing in drier climates typically respond more quickly to rainfall events.
Choose the appropriate climate class that represents how local plants respond to rainfall events.
Slope Position
Choose the slope position that
best describes the location of the
weather station (Table 5).
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Table 5 – Slope Position Definitions
Alpha Code Numeric Code
Description
L
1
Flat to Lower 1/3rd of slope
M
2
Middle 1/3rd of slope
U
3
Upper 1/3rd of slope
Page 19
Slope Class
Enter the NFDRS slope class that best describes the
slope class where the weather station is located (Table
6). Percent slope is the rate of elevation gain or loss in
feet per 100 feet horizontal distance
Table 6 – Slope Class Definitions
Code
Definition
Slope Used
1
0 – 25%
22.5%
2
26 – 40%
31.8%
3
41 – 55%
44.5%
4
56 – 75%
66.3%
5
75%+
90.0%
Herbaceous
Select the option for either annual or perennial that
represents best the herbaceous vegetation in the FMU represented by this weather station.
Start Date
Enter the date herbaceous vegetation typically greens-up, and the date herbaceous vegetation
freezes in a typical year for the FMU represented by this weather station. Entries must be month
and date numbers separated by a slash or period.
Print Button
Print tells the computer to generate a page that looks like the weather station screen. This is a
nice way to document entries and allows an easy check of the data.
Exit Button
Exit closes the Weather Station entry screen and returns to the main PCHA screen.
Print Screen
This command allows the printing of any screen for documentation purposes (Figure 21).
Exit
The Exit menu closes all PCHA files and screens and returns control to the Windows program
manager (Figure 22).
Figure 21 – The Print Screen Menu
Page 20
Figure 22 – The Exit Menu
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
The Weather Menu
The functions on this menu are available when selecting Weather from the main menu. The
planner may import, edit, and export weather observation records and GRID weather data sets.
The planner may also edit weather observation fields, enter Keetch-Byram Drought Index
(KBDI) starting values, repair certain problems on observations and calculate National Fire
Danger Rating System values.
Import Weather
Figure 23 – The Weather Menu
Importing weather data into PCHA for review, editing, and
use as part of the fire planning effort is a powerful tool. This
release allows the importing of ASCII weather observation
or data set files in fwx or fw9 format. Options also exist for
importing the weather station attributes and weather
observation records from another PCHA database or a
FireFamily Plus database. In addition, import of weather
observations taken at a National Oceanographic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather stations may
be supported in future releases (Figure 23).
Obtaining .FWX Weather Observation Records
The fire planner must obtain weather observation records. Several sources are available.
Obtaining NFDRS Weather Station Observation Records
Weather records from a NFDRS weather station are available from the FAMWEB Internet site at
the URL:
http://famweb.nwcg.gov/weatherfirecd/
Figure 24
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 21
Select the state and then weather stations from which the weather observations will be
downloaded. These files, on the Internet site, include station catalog attributes (NFDRS catalog
information) and weather data sets. The time period that weather data is available varies by
weather station. The years available are noted in the far right column in the table (Figure 25).
Figure 25
When downloading a *.fwx file, the
planner should right click on File > Save
Target As in Windows Explorer (Figure
26).
Figure 26
Navigate to the folder the file will be
downloaded to using Windows Explorer®.
Be sure to note this folder location.
Obtaining GRID Weather Data
Records
Reserved. To be completed at a later date.
Page 22
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Import .FWX Weather Observations
Figure 27
The weather records for each weather station must be in
separate files (one file per station).
Before these weather observations may be imported to
PCHA, the weather station attributes must be defined using
the File > Weather Stations menu (Figure 28). See the
description of this menu item for details.
The ASCII file naming convention
requires that the last six characters
of the file name be the weather
station identifier. Weather
observation files downloaded from
the FAMWEB Internet site will
have WX as the first two
characters of the filename and fwx
as the file extension (Figure 29).
Figure 28
Figure 29
GRID weather files should be
named using this convention. It is
recommended the six-character
“station name” given to the GRID
weather data set be related to the
FMU name it is assigned to.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 23
When the planner selects Weather > Import .FWX Weather Observations, a dialog box
similar to the one in Figure 29 appears. It will be necessary to navigate to the folder where the
weather observation files have been saved. Once there, the dialog will list files with the .fwx
extension. To import the *.fwx weather observations file, the planner may either double click
on the file name, or click once to highlight the file name and then click OK.
The screen in Figure 30 will appear. The planner must
choose one of three options listed on the screen.
Figure 30
Delete Existing Values For THIS Station
The default option deletes all weather records for this
station that currently exist in PCHA. Use this option to
delete all existing records from the current database and
import a new weather data set.
Overwrite Redundant Values
This option imports new weather observations and replaces a weather observation in the PCHA
database by a new observation if one exists in the ASCII weather observation file.
Don't Overwrite (Skip Redundant)
This option does not delete duplicate observations so it is possible to have more than one weather
observation for the same day. Use this option to add new records to the database, but keep all
the existing records without changing them.
After an option is selected, click OK to start the import process. A progress bar will appear
along the bottom of the screen. There is Cancel button in case the planner wishes to stop the
import part way through the process.
Importing from a PCHA Database
Figure 31
All weather station attributes and weather observation
records that exist in a PCHA database may be imported to a
new PCHA database. This option is of value if weather
observations have been imported and verified in a past
planning effort that used PCHA.
Page 24
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Selecting Weather > Import
PCHA Weather Observations
will result in the screen in Figure
32 appearing. Clicking Browse
will result in the screen in Figure
33 appearing.
Figure 32
Figure 33
Navigate to the folder where the
PCHA database file has been
saved. Once there, the dialog will
list files with the .mdb extension.
The planner may either doubleclick on the file name, or click
once to highlight the file name and
then click OK. The screen in
Figure 34 will appear.
Notice the path to the file is shown.
If the correct file has been selected,
click Import. Be aware that all
weather stations and weather
observations in the PCHA database
selected will be imported once the
Import button is clicked.
Figure 34
When all weather station attributes and weather records have been
imported, PCHA will display the screen in Figure 35.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Figure 35
Page 25
Importing from a FireFamily Plus Database
Figure 36
All weather station attributes and weather observation
records that exist in a FireFamily Plus database may be
imported to a new PCHA database. This option is used if
weather observations have been imported and verified in a
past planning effort that used FireFamily Plus.
This option only supports weather observation data import
from a FireFamily Plus, Version 2, database.
Selecting Weather > Import
FFPLUS Weather Observations
will result in the screen shown in
Figure 37. Clicking Browse will
result in the screen shown in Figure
38.
Figure 37
Figure 38
It will be necessary to navigate to
the folder where the FireFamily
Plus database file has been saved.
Once there, the dialog will list files
with the .mdb extension. The
planner may either double-click on
the file name, or click once to
highlight the file name and then
click OK . The screen in Figure 39
will appear.
Figure 39
Notice the path to the file is shown.
If the correct file has been selected,
click IMPORT. Be aware that all
weather stations and weather
observations in the FireFamily Plus
database selected will be imported once the IMPORT button is clicked. When all weather station
attributes and weather records have been imported, PCHA will display the screen in Figure 35.
Page 26
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Importing NOAA Weather Observation
Figure 40
Reserved. To be completed at a later date.
Edit Weather Observations
Figure 41
After importing the weather data, it must be checked for
errors and missing observations. Some observations may be
incomplete or there may be significant gaps in the weather
observations. Data fields in individual weather records may
be edited. If a data field in a weather record is an estimated
field value, be sure to check the User-Estimated Weather
box. Weather records may be added to fill gaps. Selecting
the Weather > Edit Weather Observations menu will
result in the screen in Figure 42 being displayed.
Figure 42 – Edit Weather Observations Screen
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 27
Displaying Weather Records for a Station
Use the Station pull-down to select a weather station. Do a left mouse click on the Clear button
followed by a left mouse click on the Begin Search button. A screen similar to the one shown in
Figure 43 will be displayed.
Figure 43 – Daily Weather Tab
Top of Weather Screen
The station number and observation date are always visible so the planner knows which weather
station and observation date are displayed.
Station ID
This field shows the weather station or GRID weather data set identifier. This field is searchable
for specific records or groups of records as described under the Search Criteria button.
Observation Date
This field is the date of the weather observation. A planner may search for observations on
specific dates or a range of dates in searches as described under the Search Criteria button.
Page 28
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Daily Observations Tab (Daily Obs)
The screen in Figure 43 shows the content of the Daily Observation tab on the Edit Weather
Observations screen. The fields on this tab contain the values for each variable for the
observation date. The definitions of the fields follows.
State of Weather
State of Weather indicates the amount of cloud cover and
type of precipitation at the weather station at the
observation time. Table 7 shows the State of Weather
definitions.
Table 7 – State of Weather
Definitions
Code
Definition
1
Scattered clouds
2
Broken clouds
3
Overcast
4
Foggy
5
Drizzling
6
Raining
7
Snow or sleet
8
Showering
9
Thunderstorms in progress
Wind Direction
This field shows the direction from which the wind blew at
the observation time coded into one of eight directions.
Table 8 shows the wind direction definitions.
Table 8 – Wind Direction
Definitions
Code
Definition
0
--Calm
1
NE
Northeast
2
E
East
3
SE
Southeast
4
S
South
5
SW Southwest
6
W
West
7
NW Northwest
8
N
North
Wind Speed
Wind speed in miles per hour is the 10-minute average
measured at 20-feet above the average height of the
vegetative cover.
10h Timelag Fuel Moisture (10-h FM)
This is the moisture content of the 0.26 – 1.00 inch dead
and down fuels. It is measured by weighing calibrated fuel
sticks or calculated using equations and weather observations attributes.
Temperature (Temp)
This field is the dry bulb temperature measured in degrees Fahrenheit.
Relative Humidity (RH)
Relative humidity, expressed as a percent, is the proportion of the amount of water in the air to
the amount of water at saturation given the same temperature and barometric pressure.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 29
Precipitation
Precipitation is expressed both in the amount and the duration.
Precipitation Duration
Precipitation duration is the time expressed in hours that measurable precipitation events lasted
during the previous 24-hour period.
Precipitation Amount
Precipitation amount is the amount of atmospheric moisture that reached the ground within the
previous 24-hour period.
User-Estimated Weather Checkbox
If the planner enters an estimated value for any field in the weather record for the observation
date, check this box. To have the edits saved in the PCHA database, click Save.
Bottom of Edit Weather Screen
All of these buttons are usable from any of the tabs to enter a new record or a search (Figure 46).
Figure 46
Save Button
The Save button saves the information for the active date to the PCHA database. Until this
button is clicked, any changes made in fields are not permanently saved to the PCHA database.
Clear Button
The Clear button resets all data fields to blank.
Delete Button
This button deletes the current record from the database. If there are no weather observation
records in the database or displayed on the screen, this button will be light gray and inoperative.
Begin Search Button
Click Begin Search to find the first weather observation record in the database or the first
record that meets the defined search criteria.
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Search Criteria Button
Click Search Criteria to clear the screen and define the fields that will control which weather
observation records to find in the database. Fields with their names written in italic text are
available for searches. Station, Observation Date, Precipitation Amount, Wind Speed, Observed
Temperature, and Observed Relative Humidity are search fields. After the criteria are entered,
click Begin Search.
Figure 47
For example, a planner may search for all observations with temperatures
greater than 50. Click Search Criteria then click in the Obs Temp field.
Enter the criterion >50 and click Begin Search.
To find precipitation events between 2 inches and 10 inches, click Search
Criteria . Click in the Precipitation Amount field and enter >=2.0 and
<=10.0. Click Begin Search. This search will find all weather observations that have 2.0 inches
through 10.0 inches of precipitation for the day.
First, Previous, Next, and Last Buttons
The First button displays the first weather observation record in the database or the search list.
The Previous and Next buttons display the weather observation before or after the current
observation. The Last button displays the last observation in the database or search list. These
buttons show light gray if there are no weather observation records in the database or displayed
on the screen.
Find Button
Unlike the Search Criteria and Begin Search buttons, which retrieve a set of records for
viewing, the Find button is used to jump to desired records within those already retrieved with
Begin Search. Click Find and then select Clear from the pop-up menu. This will clear all
fields. Enter the values to determine which record is desired, then click Find and select Find
from the pop-up menu. To move from record to another similar record after a Find command,
click Find and then select Next or Previous from the pop-up menu.
To have the edits saved in the PCHA database, click Save.
Exit Button
The Exit button closes the weather observation edit screen and returns to the main PCHA screen.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 31
1988 NFDRS Tab
The data on the NFDRS tab shows the additional data required to support the 1988 version of
NFDRS when PCHA is operating in the Legacy Applications or Both mode (Figure 44) (See the
File > Planning Unit Setup screen). Although 88 NFDRS is shown as an option in PCHA in
theses two modes, the daily data required in order to facilitate it are not available to PCHA users.
At this time, selecting the use of 88NFDRS on the File > Weather Station screen for a weather
station has no effect on the NFDRS calculations.
Figure 44 – ’88 NFDRS Tab
Legacy Applications or Both Mode
FPA Mode
Season
This field identifies one of the four seasons of the year. Options are Unknown, Winter, Spring,
Summer or Fall.
Woody Moisture
This is the moisture content of woody (shrub) fuels. Values may range up to 250 percent.
Woody Date
This field is the observation date of the woody fuel moisture at the season start date.
Greenness
This is the greenness factor from 0 through 20 that indicates the relative level of shrub greenness.
Zero indicates that all leaves have fallen off deciduous shrubs or that evergreen shrubs are
dormant. Twenty indicates fully developed shrub leaves that are not under moisture stress. Use
intermediate values during spring greenup, fall curing, or during drought conditions. Value can
be determined by viewing the station catalog in the Internet or in FireFamily Plus. There are
separate entries for herbaceous greenness and shrub greenness.
To have the edits saved in the PCHA database, click Save.
Page 32
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Calculated Values Tab
The data on this tab shows the calculated values for the National Fire Danger Rating System
based on the weather observation. The calculations use the 1978 NFDRS formulas unless the
Use 88 NFDRS box on the weather station definition screen was checked (Figure 45).
Figure 45 – ’88 NFDRS Tab
1-h Timelag Fuel Moisture (1-h TH FM)
Observation time, relative humidity, and temperature measured at 4.5-feet above the ground are
the weather values used to calculate the 1-h timelag fuel moisture. Observed weather values are
adjusted from the 4.5-foot observation to an estimated condition at ground level using factors
determined by the State of Weather codes.
10-h Timelag Fuel Moisture (10-h TH FM)
The 10-h fuel moisture can be obtained by measuring the 10-h timelag fuel moisture sticks at the
weather station. When fuel sticks are not measured, the 10-h timelag fuel moisture is calculated
in a manner similar to that for the 1-h timelag fuel moisture.
100-h Timelag Fuel Moisture (100-h TH FM)
The 100-h timelag fuel moisture is determined from the weather observation values of
precipitation duration, maximum and minimum temperature and relative humidity. The
maximum and minimum values are for the 24-hour period that begins at observation time
yesterday (in relation to the weather record date) and ending at observation time today.
1000-h Timelag Fuel Moisture (1000-h TH FM)
The 1000-h timelag fuel moisture calculation uses the same basic methodology as the 100-hour
timelag fuel moisture but bases calculations on conditions over a seven-day period.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 33
X1000 Value (X1000)
The X1000 value limits the increase in herbaceous fuel moisture due to precipitation. The 1000-h
timelag fuel moisture controls the drying rate of herbaceous fuel moisture and the X1000 value
controls the rate of increase of herbaceous fuel moisture content due to precipitation.
Herbaceous Fuel Moisture (Herb FM)
Plants that do not develop persistent woody tissues such as grasses, forbs and ferns are live
herbaceous fuels. These fuels are further subdivided into annual and perennial vegetation types.
The herbaceous fuel moisture is estimated using National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS)
calculations. When the herbaceous fuel moisture falls below 30 percent, these plants are
considered cured, the moisture content defaults to that of the 1-h timelag fuels and the
herbaceous fuel loading is added to the 1-h timelag dead fuel loading.
Woody Fuel Moisture (Woody FM)
Plants that develop persistent woody tissue such as shrubs are live woody fuels. These fuels are
considered dormant when the moisture content falls to 50 percent. Maximum moisture content
during the growing season is 250 percent.
Percent Green (% Green)
The 1988 NFDRS requires users to enter greenness factors that express actual greening and
curing of both live herbaceous and live woody vegetation. Greenness factors represent a visual
estimate of the current general greenness of herbs and shrubs in comparison to their maximum
greenness. The greenness factors range from 0 to 20. Zero (0) represents fully dried herbaceous
plants or dormant shrubs, and 20 represents a condition in which the herbs and/or shrubs are as
green as they may ever get.
Herbaceous Stage (Herb Stage)
There are four herbaceous stages in the live moisture fuel model. These stages are Cured, Green
Up, Green and Transition. Each stage is utilized in the model to determine fuel load transfer
from live herbaceous to dead 1-hour timelag fuel moisture. The affect on live fuels is described
below.
Cured
All live herbaceous fuel loading is transferred to 1-hour timelag fuel category (1-h TL FL).
Green Up
During this stage, the herbaceous fuel load that is 100% in the 1-h timelag dead category is
transferred back to the live herbaceous category as the live fuel moisture. When the live fuel
moisture reaches 125 percent, the entire herbaceous fuel load is in the live herbaceous category.
Green
All herbaceous fuel loading is in the live herbaceous category.
Page 34
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Transition
During transition, live fuel load is transferred progressively from the live category to the 1-h
dead timelag fuel load category as the live herbaceous fuel moisture moves from 125% to 30%.
Spread Component (SC)
The Spread Component is a rating of the forward rate of spread of a headfire. Deeming, et al,
(1977), states that “the spread component is numerically equal to the theoretical ideal rate of spread
expressed in feet-per-minute. .”. This carefully worded statement indicates both guidelines (it’s
theoretical) and cautions (it’s ideal) that must be used when applying the Spread Component. Wind
speed and slope are key inputs in the calculation of the spread component, thus accounting for a high
variability from day to day. The Spread Component is expressed on an open-ended scale; thus it has
no upper limit. The Spread Component is an index calculated in a manner very similar to the
calculation of the rate of spread in the Fire Behavior Prediction System. It is expressed in feet
per minute and is calculated using the NFDRS fuel model attribute of the weather station.
Energy Release Component (ERC)
The Energy Release Component is a number related to the available energy (BTU) per unit area
(square foot) within the flaming front at the head of a fire. Daily variations in ERC are due to
changes in moisture content of the various fuels present, both live and dead. Since this number
represents the potential “heat release” per unit area in the flaming zone, it can provide guidance
to several important fire activities. It may also be considered a composite fuel moisture value as
it reflects the contribution that all live and dead fuels have to potential fire intensity. It should
also be pointed out that the ERC is a cumulative or “build-up” type of index. As live fuels cure
and dead fuels dry, the ERC values get higher thus providing a good reflection of drought
conditions. The scale is open-ended or unlimited and, as with other NFDRS components, is
relative. Conditions producing an ERC value of 24 represent a potential heat release twice that of
conditions resulting in an ERC value of 12.
Burning Index (BI)
The Burning Index is a number related to the contribution of fire behavior to the effort of
containing a fire. The BI is derived from a combination of Spread and Energy Release
Components. It is expressed as a numeric value closely related to the flame length in feet
multiplied by 10. The scale is open ended which allows the range of numbers to adequately
define fire problems, even in time of low to moderate fire danger. Table 1, adapted from
Deeming (1977) gives several cross references that relate BI to fireline intensity and flame length
with narrative comments relative to the affects on prescribed burning and fire suppression
activities. It’s important to remember that computed
BI values represent the near upper limit to be expected on the rating area. In other words, if a fire
occurs in the worst fuel, weather and topography conditions of the rating area, these numbers
indicate its expected fireline intensities and flame length.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 35
Studies have indicated that difficulty of containment is not directly proportional to flame length
alone but rather to fireline intensity, the rate of heat release per unit length of fireline, (Byram
1959). The use of fireline intensity as a measure of difficulty shows that the containment job
actually increases more than twice as fast as BI values increase. It is still safe to say that flame
length is related to fireline intensity because BI is based on flame length.
Fire Intensity Level (FIL)
The Fire Intensity Level is a measure of fire intensity as it
influences fire effects (rather than fire behavior) and is represented
by flame length. The six FIL categories and their associated flame
lengths are listed in Table 9.
Repair Invalid Observations
Table 9 – FIL Definitions
FIL
Flame Length
1
0 – 2.0 feet
2
2.1 – 4.0 foot
3
4.1 – 6.0 feet
4
6.1 – 8.0 feet
5
8.1 – 12.0 feet
6
12.1+ feet
Figure 48
This function will review all weather records and correct
certain specified fields that certain incorrect information. A
box will pop up and ask for confirmation of whether to
proceed. The status bar across the bottom shows progress
through the weather records.
After PCHA finishes the repairs, a display box will pop up
with the message "xxx invalid weather observations were
written to file INVWX.DAT." The INVWX.DAT is a text
file saved in the folder where PCHA is installed. The report
may be viewed by clicking OK . Clicking on Print will print the report.
The planner may scroll through the report by moving the scroll bars on the right and bottom. The
report lists station number, observation date, field name affected, original value, new value, and
a description of the problem.
Errors corrected include:
•
Maximum humidity less than yesterday or today's observed relative humidity. Maximum
relative humidity is set to the greater of yesterday or today's relative humidity.
•
Minimum humidity greater than yesterday's or today's observed relative humidity.
Minimum relative humidity is set to the lesser of yesterday or today's relative humidity.
•
Maximum temperature is less than yesterday or today's observed temperature. Maximum
temperature is set to the greater of yesterday or today's temperature.
Page 36
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
•
Minimum temperature is greater than yesterday or today's observed temperature.
Minimum temperature is set to the lesser of yesterday or today's temperature.
•
Maximum relative humidity is less than minimum relative humidity. Maximum and
minimum relative humidity values are swapped.
•
Maximum temperature is less than Minimum temperature. Maximum and minimum
values are swapped.
Export Weather Observations
Figure 49
The user may desire to use the weather observation data in
PCHA in another software program such as FireFamily
Plus. This menu item allows the planner to export weather
records in either .fwx or .fw9 format. Each weather station
must be exported separately. Choose the station number,
date range, and file type for each export.
Selecting Weather > Export Weather Observations opens
a screen similar to the one shown in Figure 50 to be
displayed.
Station ID
PCHA will list the stations defined in the
database. Choose the station desired to export.
Figure 50
Dates
Enter the beginning and ending dates to export in
the From and Through boxes. Enter the dates in
mm/dd/yyyy format. PCHA will export only the
weather observations for the requested station
whose observation date falls between the two
dates.
Export Type
.fwx (Short observation)
This is the same format as the PCHA import file
format.
.fw9 (WXOBS98)
This is the Y2K compliant format.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 37
Purge Weather Observations
This option will remove selected sets of previously imported
weather observations. Selecting the Weather > Purge
Weather Observations opens the screen in Figure 52.
Figure 51
The user may select one or more weather
Figure 52
stations and a range of weather
observations to be deleted from the PCHA
database. The From Date is the first
weather observation (month, day and year)
that is to be deleted and the Through Date
(month, day and year) is the last weather
observation that is to be deleted. All
weather observations for the selected
station(s) between the From and Through
Dates will be deleted when the Purge
button is selected. The From and Through date range format is mm/dd/yyyy. Clicking on the
Cancel button will cause the screen to close.
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
The Fire Menu
Figure 53 – The Fire Menu
This menu item provides functions available to manage fire
data. Import Fires loads fire data into the PCHA database.
Edit Fires allows the planner to verify and modify fields in
a fire occurrence record. A utility exists to calculate the
latitude and the longitude for a fire from the legal location
(Township, Range and Section). PCHA uses the historic fire’s start location defined with its
latitude and longitude to assign these fires to an FMU. Reports help to find problems in the data,
and clean data can be exported for further use.
Obtaining Fire Occurrence Records
The fire planner must obtain fire occurrence records using sources described in this section.
Obtaining Federal Agency Fire Occurrence Records from the Internet
Historic fire occurrence records for the USDA Forest Service and the USDI Bureau of Land
Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service
are available from the FAMWEB Internet site at the URL:
http://famweb.nwcg.gov/weatherfirecd/
Figure 54
Data at this Internet site is updated periodically. As a minimum, data is updated annually with
the previous year’s weather observations and fire occurrence data by the end of February.
Notices on the home page for this site tell the currency of updates.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 39
Figure 55
Select the appropriate state and then
agency. These files include fire
occurrence for each of the agency
corporate fire occurrence databases. The
time period that fire occurrence records
are available varies by organization unit.
The years available are noted on the
Internet site.
When downloading a fire occurrence data
file, do a right click on the file name and
select Save Target As from the menu
(Figure 56).
Figure 56
Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the
folder the file will be downloaded to. Be
sure to note the folder location.
Obtaining Other Agency Fire
Occurrence Records
For other agencies participating in an
analysis, consult with agency fire planning
personnel for availability of historic fire
occurrence records. Import of these
records is possible if the records are available in an ASCII file format supported by PCHA.
These formats are discussed in the following section.
There may be some agencies participating in the FPU that have entered fire occurrence data into
the NFIRS fire report database system. The U. S. Fire Administration, an agency in FEMA, has
developed this fire report system. Information about the wildland fire report module of NFIRS
(NFIRS-8) is available at www.nfirs.fema.gov. The National Fire Information Council (NFIC)
has developed NFIRS under contract from the U. S. Fire Administration. Information about the
NFIC can be found at www.nfic.org. There may be an import menu selection built into PCHA
for NFIRS fire report data at some future date. Any existing NFIRS fire occurrence data can be
imported into PCHA using the PCHA Standard Fire Import Format process (See section that
follows titled Importing Fires). The NFIRS wildland fire report module has only been
operational for a few years. There may be some Eastern or Midwest state agencies, local fire
departments, rural or volunteer fire departments that may have some fire occurrence data in
NFIRS.
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Import Fires
To import fire occurrence records to PCHA, select Fire > Import Fires. The fire occurrence
records must be in one of the formats shown in Table 10. The required file name and extension
for each file format is also shown in Table 10.
Figure 57
Table 10
File Formats
PCHA Standard Fire Import Format
Forest Service PCHA Format
DI-1202 Format
Update Existing Records with DI-1202 Control
Date, Init Date and FT/PT
Oregon Department of Forestry Fire
Idaho Department of Lands
PCHA Transfer Format
Import Fires from Another PCHA Database
Required File Naming Convention
*.PCHAFIRES
*.RAW
*.fpl
*.fpl
ODF*.FIRES
ID*.RAW
*.mdb
PCHA*.mdb
Description of File Formats
A description of each of the fire occurrence file formats.
PCHA Standard Fire Import Format
States and local agencies may be participating in the analysis process and each agency will have
its own fire report format. The historic data may exist in an electronic format. PCHA cannot
support all possible import formats. It is recommended that the planner work with participating
agencies to create an ASCII file with the data from fire occurrence records. This ASCII file
should be in the PCHA Standard Fire Import Format. Table 11 contains a description of the
fields in the comma-delimited ASCII PCHA standard file format. The ASCII file must have a
*.PCHAFIRES file extension.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
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Table 11 – PCHA Standard Import Format File Definition
Req.
Needed
Field
Use
For
For
Type
ID
Import
FPA
1
Discovery Year
X
X
Integer
2
Discovery Month
X
X
Integer
3
Discovery Day
X
X
Integer
4
Discovery Time
X
Integer
5
Fire Name
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
Fire Number
Region Identifier
Unit Identifier
State
Statistical Cause Code
North Latitude Degrees
North Latitude Minutes
North Latitude Seconds
West Longitude Degrees
West Longitude Minutes
West Longitude Seconds
Control Year
Control Month
Control Day
Control Time
Slope Percent
Elevation (Feet)
Aspect Code
NFDRS Fuel Model
Total Acres Burned
Remarks
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Width
Example
4
2
2
4
2004
12
30
1552
“HORSE THIEF
#2”
B072
SW
13A
CA
6
44
58
21.8901
119
28
14.7992
2004
12
30
1942
20
5914
3
G
6129.25
“Report By John”
Text
20
Text
Text
Text
Text
Integer
Integer
Integer
Real
Integer
Integer
Real
Integer
Integer
Integer
Integer
Integer
Integer
Integer
Text
Real
Text
6
2
3
2
1
2
2
2.4
2
2
2.4
4
2
2
4
2
6
1
1
8.2
240
An example row from the comma-delimited ASCII file in the Standard PCHA Fire Format is
shown in Figure 58. Notice that fields 5 and 26 contain spaces in the example entries. As such
the data in these fields is contained in quotation marks.
Figure 58 – Example of a Fire Record in the Standard PCHA Fire Format
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
The statistical fire cause on the fire report and the aspect codes to be used in fields 10 and 33 are
shown in Tables 12 and Table 13.
Table 12 – Statistical Fire Causes
Code
Cause
1
Lightning
2
Equipment Use
3
Smoking
4
Campfire
5
Debris Burning
6
Railroad
7
Arson
8
Children
9
Miscellaneous
Table 13 – Aspect Codes
Code
Aspect
0
Flat
1
North
2
Northeast
3
East
4
Southeast
5
South
6
Southwest
7
West
8
Northwest
9
Ridgetop
Forest Service PCHA Format
Forest Service PCHA data files use the naming convention PCHArrff.RAW where rr is the
region and ff is the forest number. The first four characters must be PCHA and the file extension
must be RAW. For example, the input file for the Angeles NF in Region 5 would be
PCHA0501.RAW.
Some fields contain data that is valid in the agency database, but is not valid in PCHA. One item
in particular--NFDRS fuel model--may contain fuel model “X” in Forest Service data, but PCHA
converts fuel model 'X' to a blank during the import process. The format for the Forest Service
PCHA file is contained in the Appendix.
DI-1202 Format
The DI-1202 data files use the naming convention *.fpl where the * represents any series of legal
file naming characters.
Update Existing Records with DI-1202 Control Date, Fire Type / Protection Type
Department of Interior (DOI) fire records may have been imported to a legacy PCHA database
using the BLM and BIA import formats. These formats did not include import of the control
date or fire type/protection type. This menu allows for updating of the DOI fire report records
after they have been imported using the Import Fires From Another PCHA Database menu
option.
Oregon Department of Forestry Fires
The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) data files use the naming convention ODF*.FIRES
where the * represents any series of legal file naming characters.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 43
Idaho Department of Lands Fires
The Idaho Department of Forestry data files use the naming convention ID*.RAW where the *
represents any series of legal file naming characters.
Import Fires From Another PCHA Database
PCHA database files are Microsoft Access® database files (*.mdb) and use the naming
convention PCHA99*.mdb where * represents any series of legal file naming characters.
Importing Fire Occurrence Files into PCHA
To import fire occurrence records to PCHA, select Fire > Import Fires. Then select the format
of the import file. For all file formats except the PCHA Transfer Format, the standard Windows
Explorer file selection dialog will appear. The planner needs to navigate to the folder where the
import file exists, select the file, and then click Open.
Next, a dialog box similar to the one in Figure 59 appears.
The planner must choose one of the three options listed on
the screen.
Figure 59 – Fires Import
Option Screen
Delete ALL Fires
The default option deletes all fire records that currently exist
in PCHA. Use this option to delete all existing records from
the database and import a new fire record data set.
Overwrite Redundant Values
This option imports new fire records and replaces a fire record in the PCHA database with a new
record if one exists in the ASCII fire record import file for the agency.
Don't Overwrite (Skip Redundant)
Use this option to add new records to the database, but keep all the existing records without
changing them.
After an option is selected, click OK to start the import process. A progress bar will appear
along the bottom of the screen. There is another Cancel button in case one wishes to stop the
import part way through the process.
Edit Fires
Now that fire occurrence records have been imported for the
FPU, the records and data fields need to be examined for
completeness and errors.
Figure 60 – The Edit Fires
Menu
Figure 61 shows the seven tabs on the screen that appear
when the Fire > Edit Fires menu is selected. The tabs
contain fields with information contained in the historic fire record, fields with information
calculated or assigned by PCHA, and fields that are manually assigned by the fire planner.
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Each tab except the Misc tab displays a group of related data items. The Misc tab shows data
fields that did not fit well elsewhere. Some agencies have procedures to let the planner send
corrections back to the corporate agency fire records database so future data extracts will have
the benefit of the corrections made.
Figure 61 – The Edit Fires Menu
Look closely at the fire records to ensure they accurately reflect the planning unit fire history.
Are any fires missing? If so, find the reports and add them to the planning database. Also
contact local agency support personnel for instructions on how to add the missing fire(s) to the
corporate database.
Are there any fire records included in the database that should be excluded? Delete those
selected from the PCHA database that should not be part of the historic base for planning.
Examples of fires to exclude are fire associated with activities that are unlikely to recur. A series
of small fires at a rock concert, slash fires associated with timber harvest where timber harvest
no longer occurs or rail equipment-caused fires along a now abandoned railroad right of way
may fit this criteria.
If interagency partners exist in the FPU, a historic fire reported by more than one agency needs
to be identified. To begin this process, use the FPA > Report Possible Duplicate Fires menu to
generate a report of fires with similar attributes.
Fire report records contain many fields. Fire planners should verify the accuracy of all of these
data fields. Several fire report data fields are specifically used in the processes to develop fire
event scenarios for FPA-PM. The planner should be sure these data fields are complete and
accurate. A comparison of the electronic data to the hard copy fire report may be necessary.
Required information from the fire report for each historic fire to be used for the probabilitybased fire event scenario process includes:
• Fire Type/Protection Type code for DOI agency fires
• Fire location
• Discovery date
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 45
Some information from the fire report for each historic fire is used to develop frequency
distributions. Random draws from these distributions are used in the probability-based fire event
scenario generation process. Frequency distributions are developed for:
• Discovery time
• Fire control date
• Statistical cause
There needs to be an adequate number of fires with values for these fields so that valid frequency
distributions can be developed.
Additional information from the fire report for each historic fire used for the fire event scenario
process includes:
•
•
•
•
Aspect
Slope or slope class
Elevation or elevation class
Surface fuel model (used to assist in fuel type assignment)
Top of Fire Screen
The four fields on the top portion of the screen are visible regardless of which tab is selected
(Figure 61).
Fire Name
Fire name is an optional but a very useful entry field. This is a searchable field allowing the
planner to search the database for a specific fire by name. If fire names are added, do not include
the word “Fire” as part of the name.
Fire Number
The fire number can be up to six characters long. The fire number and discovery date give each
fire record a unique identity.
Discovery Date
This field is the date the fire was discovered. If a missing historic fire is added, the planner must
define the date of discovery. Enter all dates as mm/dd/yyyy .
Discovery Time
This field is the time the fire was discovered. All times are shown in military time. Note that the
Forest Service fire discovery time ranges from 0000 (midnight) to 2359. BLM, BIA, NPS and
FWS units have a fire discovery time that ranges from 0001 to 2400 (midnight). PCHA does not
accept times outside those ranges.
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Events Tab
The screen in Figure 62 will appear when selecting Fires > Edit Fires > Events tab. This tab
displays events recorded for the fire. Note that discovery date shows on the top portion of the
screen. Not all events are necessarily known for any given fire. Events with no data will be
blank. DOI agency fires generally include only discovery date and time in the imported data.
Few (if any) Forest Service fires include Report, Dispatch, Declared Wildfire, or Contained
events at this time. Events that are used by PCHA to support development of fire event scenarios
should be examined for completeness and accuracy. Consult paper copies of fire records when
necessary to verify or obtain event data. It is recommended that data should be entered only into
blank data fields if the entered data can be verified as accurate.
Figure 62
Each event has a date and associated time. Enter dates in month, day, year format (e.g.
06/15/1995) and time in hours and minutes in military time format (e.g. 1425).
Fire Ignition
This event is the best estimate of the date and time the fire ignited. If the date and time are not
known for certain (which is often the case), this should be the best estimate of the date and time.
Report
The report field records the date and time when the reporting suppression agency learned about
the fire.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 47
Dispatch
This field is the date and time when the first fire preparedness unit was dispatched to the fire.
First Action
This field is the date and time that initial suppression action began at the site of the fire. This
time must be at least one minute after discovery.
The first action for a wildland fire use fire might be an aerial reconnaissance flight, or a
determination by management on the type and kind of fire suppression or management activities.
Second Action
This field is the date and time that reinforcements arrived at the fire site. This field records when
the first reinforcements arrived. These units must arrive at least five minutes after the initial
resource(s) arrived.
Declared Wildfire
This field is the date and time when a fire manager declared that an escaped prescribed fire
would be suppressed as a wildfire. This is applicable regardless of whether the ignition was from
natural sources such as lightning or from a resource management decision to ignite the fire.
Agency policy dictates the circumstances for the change in status. There are various management
reasons this declaration or change in status may occur. Leave this field blank if the fire was not a
prescribed fire at some point in its life.
Contained
This field is the date and time when the fire was declared contained.
Controlled
This is the date and time when the fire was declared controlled. Other terms in some records
used include Suppression Strategy Attained or Suppression Strategy Met. This would also be the
date and time when the strategy was met for a prescribed natural fire.
Fire Out
This is the date and time when the fire was declared out. At least one minute must elapse
between the control date and time and fire out time.
Report Unit
This field only applies to Forest Service Units. For a manually added fire record, this field must
be populated. For more information on this field, see the section that described the Utilities >
NFMID menu.
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Location Tab
The screen in Figure 63 will appear when selecting Fires > Edit Fires > Location tab. This tab
displays the data recorded for the administrative and geographical location of the fire.
Figure 63 –
Region/State Office
This field is the two-digit Forest Service Region number or is the two-letter State Office code for
DOI agencies. Other agencies should leave this field blank.
Unit ID
This field is the NWCG three-letter administrative agency unit designator. These identifiers are
unique within a state.
Administrative Unit Number
This field is one of the following: two-digit Forest Service National Forest number, the BLM
District identifier, the BIA Agency identifier, the NPS park identifier or the FWS refuge
identifier.
Ranger District/Resource Area
This field is the two-digit Ranger District number within a National Forest or the Resource Area
within a BLM District or BIA Agency. It will be blank for the NPS and FWS.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 49
Wilderness
A three-digit wilderness code uniquely defines the wilderness area designated and set aside by
Congress in which the fire began. By definition, only fires that occurred within wilderness
boundaries after the congressional declaration are considered wilderness fires. If the fire did not
occur in a designated wilderness, leave this field blank or zero.
State
The two-letter postal abbreviation identifies the state in which the fire started.
County
This three-digit county code identifies the county in which the fire started. The codes can be
located on the Internet at http://geonames.usgs.gov/ and are defined by a Federal Information
Processing System (FIPS) publication.
Protection Agency
This field identifies the agency legally
responsible to provide primary
protection for the land on which the fire
started. For federal agencies, use the
three-letter codes below. For state, local,
private, or other protection agencies, use
the standard two-letter state codes.
Latitude and Longitude
The latitude and longitude values locate
the fire’s point of origin. Report degrees,
minutes, and seconds in whole numbers.
Table 14 – Protection Agency Codes
Codes
Federal Agency
USF
USDA Forest Service
BLM USDI Bureau of Land Management
BIA
USDI Bureau of Indian Affairs
FWS USDI Fish and Wildlife Service
NPS
USDI National Park Service
ARM Department of Defense - Army
AFS
Department of Defense – Air Force
NAV Department of Defense – Navy
OTH Other Federal Agency
Legal Location (Meridian, Township, Range, Section, Subsection)
For fires in the 30 public land survey system states, enter township, range, section, subsection,
and principal meridian to locate fire origin. The legal description should correspond very closely
to the geographical coordinates (latitude and longitude). Fires in areas not covered by the public
land survey system should leave these fields blank.
Meridian
The meridian field has a list of all the principal meridians defined in the US. Use the pull-down
to select the principal meridian.
Township
Enter the township number and direction (N or S from the baseline). If a township is entered
without a direction (N or S), an error message will not appear. If the township is a special
township (such as a quarter, half, or three-quarter township), change the value in the box to the
right of township to show that fact.
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Range
Enter the range number and direction (E or W from the principal meridian). If a range is entered
without a direction (W or E), an error message will not appear. If the range is a special range
(such as a quarter, half, or three-quarter range), change the value in the box to the right of range
to show that fact.
Section
Enter a section number from 1 to 36.
Subsection
The subsection can be shown to the nearest quarter section (160 acres) or quarter quarter section
(40 acres). By convention, enter the smallest subdivision first. As an example, SWSE means the
southwest quarter of the southeast quarter section.
FMZ
If a Fire Management Zone has been entered on the fire report, it will be displayed here. This
field is not used in FPA.
Table 15 – Ownership at Origin Codes
Representative Location (RL)
Code
Definition
This field is not used in FPA. Leave it blank.
National Forest, National Grassland,
1
or Land Utilization Project.
Ownership at Origin
State and private lands inside Forest
2
Only the Forest Service uses this field. It shows
Service protection boundary.
the one-digit code that corresponds to land
Lands outside Forest Service
3
ownership at the point of origin (Table 15).
protection boundary.
Other Federal lands inside Forest
4
Service protection boundary.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
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Cause Tab
The screen in Figure 64 will appear when selecting Fires > Edit Fires > Cause tab. This tab
displays the fire cause codes for each fire. In addition, check boxes show whether the fire was an
escaped fire and/or a prescribed fire (blanks mean no). For most fire planning purposes,
statistical cause is very important, and the other cause codes further define the actual cause.
Prevention planning relies heavily upon accurate fire causes.
Figure 64
Report Cause
This is an optional use field that allows entry of a brief description of the fire cause. This is a
particularly useful field if the other fire causes do not adequately describe the actual fire cause.
Many fires do not fit easily into the current fire cause coding system and this field allows for a
better description of what really caused the fire.
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Statistical (Cause)
This field identifies the broad statistical cause for
the fire. Note that the code numbers are different
between Forest Service and DOI-1202 codes, but
the definitions are the same. PCHA translates
from the external agency codes to the internal
codes. PCHA uses the Forest Service statistical
cause codes (Table 16).
General (Cause)
General cause supplements statistical cause to
better identify the human activity associated with
the fire ignition. The list box shows the available
categories. Code unknown activities and lightning
fires into the Other category.
Table 16 – Statistical Cause Codes
Dept. of
Forest
Code
Interior
Service
0
Not specified
N/A
1
Natural
Lightning
2
Campfire
Equipment use
3
Smoking
Smoking
4
Debris burning Campfire
5
Incendiary
Debris burning
6
Equipment use Railroad
7
Railroad
Arson
8
Children
Children
9
Miscellaneous Miscellaneous
Specific (Cause)
Specific cause attempts to narrow down the exact fire cause. Group unknown causes into the
Other category.
People (Class)
This field identifies the group or class of people associated with the fire ignition. Code lightning
fires as Other. Code persons whose status cannot be determined as Other.
Prescribed Fire (Check Box)
If someone with authority decided to manage an unplanned ignition as a prescribed fire, then
check the box. If the ignition was suppressed as a wildfire, leave the box unchecked.
Escaped Fire (Check Box)
If the planned first action and first reinforcement forces achieved the suppression strategy for the
fire, then leave the box unchecked. If the fire escaped fire suppression efforts of the planned
response, check the box.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 53
Size/Topo Tab
The screen in Figure 64 will appear when selecting the Fires > Edit Fires > Size/Topo tab. This
tab displays the size and topographic attributes for each fire. Total acres must be entered for
each fire.
Figure 64
Total Acres Burned
This field shows the total acres burned regardless of ownership. Code fires that burn less than an
acre to the nearest 0.1 acres. Code fires that are larger than one acre in whole acres. If the data
includes only size class, most size class “A” fires are less than 0.1 acre, enter 0.1 as the total
acres for those fires. This is a required field for every fire.
Agency Acres
This is the number of acres that burned on the land of the reporting agency.
Other Protection Acres
Enter the acres burned of non-agency lands protected by the agency within the fire perimeter.
Other Acres
Enter the acres burned outside the agency protection boundary but within the fire perimeter.
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Size Class
This one-letter code categorizes fires into size classes. Size class
is based on the total acres burned, not just the area burned within
the planning unit. Fires before 1970 only used codes A-E with E
defined as 300 acres and larger. If fires that occurred before 1970
are entered, use the more recent codes. The current definition of
each size class is contained in Table 17.
Elevation
This is the elevation of the fire. It is entered to the nearest
hundred feel.
Table 17 – Size Class
Definitions
Code Definition (Acres)
A
0.0 – 0.24
B
0.25 – 9.9
C
10.0 – 99.9
D
100 – 299
E
300 – 999
F
1000 – 4999
G
5000+
BLM Elevation Code
The elevation class at the fire head at initial attack.
Aspect
This field is the general aspect (direction the land faces) on which the fire was burning at the
time of initial attack.
Slope Percent
This field is the percent slope at fire origin.
Slope Description
This is an optional entry field to briefly describe the slope and topographic position of the fire
(e.g., lower, middle, upper, or ridgetop).
Slope (BLM)
This field is the slope code at the fire origin used on BLM and BIA fire reports.
Vegetation Cover
This two-digit code identifies the general cover type in which the fire burned during the initial
attack. Each Forest Service Region has defined the important cover types within the region and
assigned a two-digit numerical code to each.
One complication to the coding scheme is that most Forest Service Regions change the definition
of their codes about every decade. That means that a particular code on a 1970 fire may not mean
the same as the same code in 1995. Generally the Regional codes identify both cover type and
the conditions within a vegetation type that are significant to fire protection activities. Examples
include cutover, seedling and saplings, bug-killed pole stands, thinning slash, and so forth.
If the planner intends to rely heavily upon this data, the planner should obtain a copy of the
applicable vegetation cover class codes for the period in the analysis so the codes can be
interpreted correctly.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
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Topography
The general topography within the fire burned area.
PCHA Tab
The screen in Figure 66 will appear when selecting Fires > Edit Fires > PCHA tab. The PCHA
screen displays the current values of selected fire information contained in the fire report,
generated from GIS maps, calculated by PCHA, or entered manually. Only manual fields on this
screen may have values entered.
All of the fields on this screen except rate of spread (ROS) contain values that come from
agency fire reports (Report cell). If a fire report record was imported to PCHA from another
PCHA database used to do fire planning, there might be an entry for a field in the GIS or Manual
cells.
Figure 66
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
FMZ
This field displays the current Fire Management Zone (FMZ) information on the fire contained
in the fire report, calculated from GIS maps, or entered manually. The FMZ provided by the fire
report will be from a legacy planning system and has no application in FPA.
Representative Location
This field displays the representative locations assigned to fires calculated from GIS maps or
entered manually. This field is not used in FPA.
Weather Station
This field displays the station number and observation date that could be used for the fire based
on data from the fire report, assigned by the program, or entered manually. The Used field
contains the weather observation date assigned to the fire. The used field entry can be different
from the actual start fire date due to missing weather data or other factors driven by the
assignment priorities.
NFDRS Fuel Model
This field shows the National Fire
Danger Rating System (NFDRS)
fuel models assigned to the fire
based on data from the fire report,
generated from GIS maps, or
entered manually. Check the
annual box if the herbaceous
vegetation is annual. Leave it
unchecked if perennial.
Fire Intensity Level
This field displays the fire intensity
level assigned to the fire based on
the fire report, calculated by the
PCHA program or entered
manually.
Rate of Spread (ROS)
This field shows the calculated rate
of spread in chains (66 feet) per
hour.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Table 18 – NFDRS Fuel Models
Fuel
NFDRS Fuel Model
Group
A – Western Annual Grasses
C – Open Pine with Grass
L – Western Perennial Grasses
Grass
N – Sawgrass
S – Tundra
T – Sage with Grass
B – Mature Brush (6 feet)
D – Southern Rough
Brush
F – Intermediate Brush
O – High Pocosin
Q – Alaska Black Spruce
E – Hardwood Litter (Fall)
G – Heavy Short Needle Timber Litter
Timber H – Normal Short Needle Timber Litter
Litter
P – Southern Lone Needle Pine Litter
R – Hardwood Litter – Spring/Summer
U – Western Long Needle Litter
I – Heavy Slash
Slash
J – Medium Slash
K – Light Slash
Page 57
Misc Tab
The screen in Figure 67 will appear when selecting Fires > Edit Fires > Misc tab. This tab
shows fire data that did not easily fit anywhere else, but some planners wish to keep and use.
Fire Account
This field shows the fire cost account code. If this value is entered, enter the account code
assigned to the fire without the leading “P” or “R” (FS units).
Suppression Strategy
This field is a Forest Service code that identifies the predominant
strategy for the kind, amount, and timing of the initial dispatch
and initial suppression action.
Table 19 – Suppression
Strategy Codes
Code
Strategy
1
Confine
2
Contain
3
Control
Figure 67
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Suppression Cost
This field stores the estimated total emergency fire fighting funds expended by the protection
agency as a result of this fire.
Map on File
Check this box if a map is attached to the report or if a map is on file. This can serve as a
reminder that more detailed location and perimeter information is available locally.
Remarks
Enter remarks you may have.
FPA Tab
The screen in Figure 66 will appear when selecting Fires > Edit Fires > FPA tab. This tab
contains cells specific to FPA.
Figure 68
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
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Manual FMU Assignment
This entry allows the planner to manually assign an FMU for a historic fire. This may be needed
if one is not assigned via the FPA > Assign FMUs to Fires Using GIS menu. If a fire is
assigned incorrectly to an FMU, it is because the latitude/longitude assigned to the fire is not
within the FMU. Instead of changing the FMU assignment here, edit the incorrect latitude
and/or longitude assignment and then select FPA > Assign FMUs to Fires Using GIS.
GIS FMU Assignment
This is the FMU assigned to the fire via the FPA > Assign FMUs to Fires Using GIS menu.
DI-1202 Fire Type / Protection Type
Two fields, fire type and protection type, identify the types of incidents. Table 20 provides
definitions for each. Use the pulldown to assign this attribute.
Table 20 – DOI Fire Type and Protection Type Definitions
Fire Types
Protection Types
Code
Description
Code
Description
For agency land under agency protection. The agency that
1
Suppressed Fire
1
has the fire suppression responsibility.
For agency lands protected by another Federal agency
2
Natural Out
2
under an interagency mutual aid agreement. Another
agency does the suppression work.
For agency lands protected by a non-Federal agency (e.g.
3
Support Action
3
state, county, city) under a cooperative agreement, memo of
understanding, or contract.
For fires suppressed under confine or contain strategy under
4
Prescribed Fire
4
Fire Type 1.
For other lands not under agreement, memo of
understanding or contract, but where agency suppression
5
False Alarm
5
action was taken to prevent fire spread onto agency lands;
i.e. private land adjacent to agency boundary.
For other lands protected by agency under a memo of
6
understanding, interagency agreement or contract.
Support actions by agency resources under Fire Type code
7
3.
Prescribed burns – management-ignited prescribed fires,
8
ignited by or for park management under Fire Type code 4.
Prescribed natural fires - ignited by lightning, volcanic
activity, or other natural ignition sources under Fire Type
9
code 4.
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PCHA for FPA Should Exclude This Duplicate Fire
Within an FPU, there can be multiple agency partners that have responded historically to the
same fires. Each agency might have completed an agency fire report for one or more of these
fires. When all of these fires are imported to PCHA, duplicate fire reports can exist for the same
fire. This check box allows for the designation of a fire as a duplicate fire record.
The identification of potential duplicate fires is possible using the FPA > Report Possible
Duplicate Fires menu. This menu item produces a report of fires with similar fire report values.
Fuel Type for Historic-based Scenario
The fuel type assignment to a historic fire is used by the yet to be developed Historic-based Fire
Event Scenario generation process. A fuel type in FPA is a unique combination of the following:
•
•
•
•
•
Canopy cover
Surface (FBPS) fuel model
Canopy base height
Canopy bulk density
Stand height
Canopy cover
Canopy cover is normally measured as a percent. It is based on the linear length of crown within
a canopy versus the length of open space.
Surface (FBPS) fuel model
These are the 13 1982 FBPS fuel
models (Anderson 1982) (Table 21).
Table 21 1982 FBPS Fuel Models
Fuel Group
1982 FBPS Fuel Model
1 - Short Grass (1 foot)
Grass
2 - Timber (Grass and understory)
3 - Tall Grass (2.5 feet)
4 – Chaparral
5 – Brush
Brush
6 - Dormant Brush
7 - Southern Rough
8 - Closed Timber Litter
Timber
9 - Hardwood (pine long needle litter)
Litter
10 - Timber
11 - Light Slash
Slash
12 - Medium Slash
13 - Heavy Slash
Canopy base height
For an individual tree, the measurement
of the height to the base of the crown
can be made. The average of these
values for all trees in a stand gives an
estimate of the height of the canopy
base height. Frequently, this is a
measure of where the limbs of the
canopy start vertically. This number
can be skewed by the presence of small
trees or occasional live limbs. A more
meaningful value is the height above
the ground of the first canopy layer where the density of the crown mass within the layer is high
enough to support vertical movement of a fire.
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Canopy bulk density
Mathematically, canopy bulk density (CBD) (lbs/ft3) is canopy biomass divided by the volume
occupied by canopy fuels. Canopy bulk density is hard to estimate in the field. Initially, it
seems attractive to calculate this value by treating the canopy as a box with the depth of the stand
height minus the canopy base height. Assuming this box covered an acre (43,560 ft2), dividing
the fuel loading in the canopy by the volume of box would provide an estimate of average
canopy bulk density. Unfortunately, this estimate has a bias toward under estimation of the
canopy bulk density due to the averaging of largely void areas in the top and bottom of the
canopy with the more dense layers of foliage. A fire burning vertically within the crowns will
most likely propagate through denser canopy layers.
To determine CBH and CBD values that are reasonable for the FPU, consult with fire behavior
specialists familiar with defining these values for use in the FARSITE program. Also consult the
publication Stereo Photo Guide for Estimating Canopy Fuel Characteristics in Conifer Stands
(Scott and Reinhardt 2005). A utility exists in PCHA (FPA>FBPS Calculations), which
calculates resultant fire behavior using all three attributes of a fuel type, and five attributes of a
topographic type.
Stand height
For an individual tree, height is the measurement from the ground to the top of the tree tip.
Averaging the heights for all trees in a stand would give an estimate of stand height.
This pull-down allows for the designation of a fuel type that existed at the point of origin of a
historic fire. If a surface fuel model (FBPS or NFDRS) is designated on the fire report, that
information should be used to determine an appropriate fuel type.
Bottom of Edit Fires Screen
All of these buttons are usable from any of the tabs or to enter a new record or a search.
Figure 69
Save Button
The Save button saves the information for the active date to the PCHA database. Until this
button is clicked, any changes made in fields are not permanently saved to the PCHA database.
Clear Button
The Clear button resets all data fields to blank.
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Delete Button
This button deletes the current record from the database. If there are no weather observation
records in the database or displayed on the screen, this button will be light gray and inoperative.
Begin Search Button
Click Begin Search to find the first weather observation record in the database or the first
record that meets the defined search criteria.
Search Criteria Button
Click Search Criteria to clear the screen and define the fields that will control which weather
observation records to find in the database. Fields with their names written in italic text are
available for searches. Station ID, observation date, precipitation, wind speed, precipitation
amount, observed temperature, and observed relative humidity are search fields. After the
criteria are entered, click Begin Search.
For example, the planner can search for all fires with a statistical
cause of campfire. To do so, click Search Criteria , go to the
Cause tab and select Campfire from the Statistical (Cause) pulldown. Then click Begin Search.
Figure 70
The First, Previous, Next, and Last Buttons
The First button displays the first weather observation record in the database or the search list.
The Previous and Next buttons display the weather observation before or after the current
observation. The Last button displays the last observation in the database or search list. These
buttons show light gray if there are no weather observation records in the database or displayed
on the screen.
Find Button
Unlike the Search Criteria and Begin Search buttons, which retrieve a set of records for
viewing, the Find button is used to jump to desired records within those already retrieved with
Begin Search. Click Find and then select Clear from the pop-up menu. This will clear all
fields. Enter the values to determine which record is desired, then click Find and select Find
from the pop-up menu. To move from record to another similar record after a Find command,
click Find and then select Next or Previous from the pop-up menu.
Exit Button
The Exit button closes the weather observation edit screen and returns to the main PCHA screen.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
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Calculate Latitude and Longitude from Legal Locations
Latitude and longitude are required so GIS tools can assign
each historic fire to a FMU. Some fire records have only
legal description locations (township, range, and section). A
utility within PCHA can be run that will calculate latitude
and longitude values from legal (TRS) locations. This
process works only for public land survey states, and only if
the conversion factors exist for the area the FPU is in.
Figure 71 – The Edit Fires
Menu
This menu item calculates latitude and longitude values at the center of the section. Since, in
most cases, PCHA only knows the township, range, and section number, the section center is the
point of least error. The convert routine generates some errors when assigning latitude and
longitude values from legal descriptions (township, range, and section), particularly in areas with
half townships. Therefore, it is wise for the planner to use topographic maps, unit maps, or other
sources to manually assign latitude and longitude values.
Selecting the Fire > Calculate
Lat/Lon for Legal menu yields
the dialog shown in Figure 72.
Figure 72
Overwrite Manually Entered
Lat/Long Values
Check this box to replace the
existing latitude and longitude
values in the database with the
new latitude and longitude values generated by the convert routine.
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
The GIS Menu
This GIS (Geographic Information Systems) chapter
describes the capability of PCHA to display and
manipulate spatial data.
Figure 73 – The GIS Menu
The planner is able to list the GIS layers to be viewed, to
prepare certain GIS layers for viewing, to view the maps,
to define polygons, and to view reports of fires within
these polygons.
Define Map Layers
Use this screen to define the path to the GIS layers.
Selecting this menu results in the display of the window
shown in Figure 75.
Layer Type ID Column
Clicking in the box below the
column name will allow for
display of a pull-down arrow. Use
this pull-down to select either
IMAGE or SHAPE. This defines
the format of the GIS file used in
PCHA.
Figure 74 – The GIS Menu,
Define Map Layers Menu
Figure 75
An Image file must be in Tag Image File Format (TIFF). These image files have a .tif extension.
The image file must be geo-referenced to appear in the correct area of the map display. A TIFF
file, which has been geo-referenced, will have two files. One will have the extension .tif and the
second will have the extension .tfw.
A Shape file is a GIS layer in the ArcView shape file format. It consists of three files with
extensions .shp, .shx and .dbf. All three files must exist in the same folder.
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Complete Path to .SHP or TIF file Column
The planner has two options to complete this cell entry. One is to manually type the complete
path to the .shp or .tif file, depending on which file type appears in the LayerTypeID column.
The second is to use the appropriate Browse button to use the Windows File Manager dialog to
select the .shp to .tif file. PCHA will expect the associated files (.trw, .shx, or .dbf) to have the
same filenames and be in the same folder.
After selecting a layer using the Browse option, the planner MUST click on a different row or
move to a different row using the arrow keys for the cell entries to be recorded in the PCHA
database.
When using the Browse option, the entry in the Layer Type column will appear automatically.
After an FMU shape file is selected, the dialog in Figure75 may look similar to the one in Figure
76.
Figure 76 –
Outline Color Column
If the layer is a shape file, the planner may select an outline color for
the layer when the data is displayed on the map. If the color is
omitted, it will be shown in black. Use the pulldown list to select one
of the listed colors. The available colors are in Table 20
Table 20 Available
Data Colors
Black
Magenta
Red
Cyan
Green
White
Blue
To save all information and close the window, click on the small “x”
in the upper right corner of the window.
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Make Fire or Workload Point Shape Files
PCHA has the ability to create shape files showing the
fire locations in the PCHA database. It can also create
shape files with the calculated and manually entered
workload points by FMU.
Figure 77 – The Make Fire or
Workload Point Shape File
Selecting GIS > Make Fire or Workload Point Shape
Files will result in the dialog box shown in Figure 78.
Make Fires.shp File Option
PCHA has the ability to create shape files showing the
fire locations in the PCHA database. To create this shape
file, click in the check box to the left of the Make
Fires.shp option.
Figure 78 – Make Shape File
Dialog
Make CalcPt.shp File Option
Before this shape file can be created, the planner needs to
have selected the FPA > Calculate/Edit FMU
Workload Point menu item. To create this shape file,
click in the check box to the left of the Make CalcPt.shp
option.
Make ManPt.shp File Option
Before this shape file can be created, the planner needs to
have selected the FPA > Calculate/Edit FMU Workload Point menu item and then entered
manually an override location for the workload point for an FMU (Figure 79). The location of
the workload is entered using latitude and longitude in degree and decimal format.
To create this shape file, click in the
check box to the left of the Make
ManPt.shp option.
Figure 79 – Calculate/Edit FMU Workload Point
Dialog
Coordinates
Select either “Lat/Lon” or “UTM”
for the desired map coordinate
attributes. If UTM is selected, the
UTM Zone entered on the FilePlanning Unit Setup screen will be
used.
Add To Layer List When Done
Clicking this box will result in PCHA automatically adding this layer to the list of Map Layers in
the dialog box shown in Figure 76.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 67
Figure 80
Click OK to begin. PCHA may
work for several minutes
preparing the shape file(s). An
example of the Display Map
Layers dialog (once all four shape
files have been created) is shown
in Figure 80.
Figure 81 – The View Map From
GIS Menu
View Map
To view the map with the layers that are listed in the Map
layers dialog (Figure 80), select GIS > View Map. A
map with the data layers similar to the one in Figure 82
will appear. In the upper left of the screen, there are six
icons that function as described in Table 23.
Figure 82
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Table 23 Description of function of icons
Icon
Function
Print the map
Return to Full Extent
Zoom Out – The map will show twice as much area
Identify the feature clicked on. First, select a map layer using the pull-down list
at the bottom of the window. Second, click on the Identify icon. Third, click on
a map feature and an Attributes box will appear listing the attributes of the map
feature selected.
Create a zoom area. After clicking, then place cursor at upper left corner of
desired area. Hold left mouse button down and drag to create a rectangle around
the area to be zoomed to. Release the left mouse button and PCHA will
redisplay the map showing the area defined in the rectangle.
Pan – Hold left mouse button down and move mouse to pan the map in any
direction. Release the left mouse button to complete the panning operation.
Update Fire Locations from GIS
This menu item supports the update of the latitude and
longitude assigned to fire records using a GIS shape file.
The fires in the GIS shape file must have the fires
identified by one of the following methods:
•
•
•
Figure 83 -The Update Fire
Locations From GIS Menu
Discovery date and fire number
NIFMID identifiers
PCHA record number
NIFMID stands for the National Interagency Fire Management Integrated Database and applies
only to Forest Service fire records.
Selecting GIS > Update Fire Locations From GIS will display the screen in Figure 84.
Note the caution note at the top of the dialog advising the planner to backup the PCHA database
file before implementing this menu process.
Identifying the GIS Shape File
Click Browse. Using the windows file manager dialog, navigate to the folder where the GIS
shape file resides. Click on this file and then click Open. The path to the shape file’s location
will be displayed in the gray window above the Browse button.
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Figure 84 - The Current Fire Locations from GIS Dialog
Discovery Date and Fire Number
In the cells provided, enter the field name for the fire Discovery Date and the Fire Number in the
database that supports the GIS shape file.
NIFMID Identifier
In the cells provided, enter the information for: Agency, Administrative Unit, Year of Discovery
and the Fire Number in the database that supports the GIS shape file.
PCHA Record Number
In the cell provided, enter the information for the fire PCHA Record Number in the database that
supports the GIS shape file.
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Define Polygons
PCHA has the ability to count the number of fires and
acres within each polygon of a GIS shape file. For
example, the planner could use a watershed polygon
shape file to count the number of fires within each
watershed.
Figure 85 – The Define Polygons
Menu
Prior to preparing a report of fires and acres by polygon,
PCHA must contain information about the polygons to
use. Selecting the GIS > Define Polygons menu will
yield the dialog box shown in Figure 86.
Figure 86
Describe Column
Enter a brief description of the polygons desired for use.
Use Layer Column
Use the pull-down list to select the desired GIS layer from the list of Map Layers.
Field Name Column
Enter the name of the field in this layer that is to be used to label the polygons inn this layer.
Date From Column
Enter the starting date for the fires you want to count. Complete this entry for all data layers
even though it may not apply, i.e. FMU data layer.
Date Thru Column
Enter the ending date for the fires you want to count. Complete this entry for all data layers even
though it may not apply, i.e. FMU data layer. Click on the X in the upper right corner to save
and exit.
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Fires by Polygon
Use this menu item to count the number of fires and acres
burned within each polygon of a layer you have already
defined using the GIS > Define Polygons menu item.
Selecting this menu item will produce a window similar
to the one in Figure 88.
Figure 87 – The Fires by Polygon
Menu
Previously-Defined Polygon Layer To Use
Select from the list of polygons you have created (Figure
88).
From Date
Enter the starting month, date and year
for fires.
Figure 88
Thru Date
Enter the ending month, date and year
for fires.
GIS Layer Uses
Select Lat/Lon or UTM.
Click OK and the process will begin,
using the PCHA map display. When it
has completed the process, the map will
disappear, and a two-section report will
be shown.
The first section, as shown in Figure 89, shows the number of fires listed by statistical cause for
each of the polygons.
Figure 89
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
The second portion of the report shows acres burned, listed by statistical cause within each
polygon (Figure 89).
Figure 90
These reports can be printed by clicking on the printer icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
The name of the file holding this text file is shown on the window title bar.
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The FPA Menu
Figure 91 – The FMA Menu
The items on the FPA menu facilitate the processes
that are unique to the use of PCHA to support the
creation of a fire event scenario in FPA.
Fire Event
A fire event is a single wildland fire measured in
time from its estimated ignition time through the
time it is declared out. A fire event is a collection
of attributes that describe the statistical and
physical characteristics of the fire. The attributes
assigned to a fire event are shown in Table 24
For additional information of the each of the
attributes of a fire event, consult the FPA
Reference Guide.
Fire Identifier
This is an internal identifier assigned by PCHA to
the fire event that is used to track the fire event in
FPA-PM..
Sensitivity Period
This is the time period, measured in two-week intervals throughout the calendar year, used for
describing the resource/fire management objective.
Date Identifier
This the Julian date of the fire event ignition.
Table 24
• Fire Identifier
• Sensitivity Period (26 in a year)
• Date Identifier (Julian Date)
• Fire Discovery Time
• Fire Cause (Human or Natural)
• Simultaneous Fire (Yes/No)
• Fire Management Unit (FMU)
• ERC for Ignition Date
• BIg for Ignition Date
• NFDRS Slope Class
Page 74
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Elevation (feet)
FBPS Surface Fuel Model
Rate of Spread
Fire Intensity Level
Spread Minutes Until Civil Sunset
Final Fire Size (Wildfire)
WFU Fire Duration (Accepted WFU Fire)
Final Fire Size (Accepted WFU Fire)
Final Fire Size (Rejected WFU Fire)
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Fire Discovery Time
This is the fire event discovery time expressed in military time.
Fire Cause
If the fire statistical cause is not lightning then it is human-caused. This fire event attribute is
used in the decision process for possible assignment of a fire event as a candidate wildland fire
use fire.
Simultaneous Fire (Yes/No)
If two more or fires occur on the same day in the FPU each of these fires is designated as a
simultaneous fire.
Fire Management Unit (FMU)
This is the internal FMU identifier assigned to the FMU by the FPA-PM program.
ERC for Ignition Date
This is the NFDRS Energy Release Component (ERC) using the fuel model assigned to the FMU
and is calculated using the weather data set for an FMU. This attribute of a fire event is used in
the decision process for possible assignment of a fire event as a candidate wildland fire use fire.
BI for Date
This is the NFDRS Burning Index (BI) using the fuel model assigned to the FMU and is
calculated using the weather data set for an FMU. This attribute of a fire event is used in the
decision process for possible assignment of a fire event as a candidate wildland fire use fire.
NFDRS Slope Class
This is the NFDRS slope class at the ignition location for the fire. It is used in FPA-PM as one
input to the determination of the fireline production rate for each fire preparedness resource.
Elevation (feet)
This is the elevation above sea level for the fire ignition point. It is used in FPA-PM to regulate
helicopter use on the fire event.
FBPS Surface Fuel Model
This is the FBPS fuel model. It is used in the calculation of the fire event’s rate of spread and
fire intensity level. It is also used in FPA-PM as one input to the determination of the fireline
production rate for each fire preparedness resource.
Rate of Spread
This is the forward rate of spread of the fire on the day of discovery.
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Fire Intensity Level (FIL)
This is the fire intensity level of the fire on the day of discovery.
The FIL is determined by the flame length (Table 25).
Spread Minutes Until Civil Sunset
This is the number of minutes from the fire discovery time to 30
minutes after sunset.
Final Fire Size (Wildfire)
This is the fire size if the fire event is not contained by FPA-PM.
Table 25
FIL
Flame Length
1
0 – 2.0 feet
2
2.1 – 4.0 feet
3
4.1 – 6.0 feet
4
6.1 – 8.0 feet
5
8.1 – 12.0 feet
6
12.1+ feet
WFU Fire Duration (Accepted WFU Fire)
This is the number of days from the WFU fire event discovery date until the date of the fire
ending weather event.
Final Fire Size (Accepted WFU Fire)
This is the fire size for a fire event that FPA-PM accepts as a WFU fire.
Final Fire Size (Rejected WFU Fire)
This is the fire size for a fire event that is a candidate WFU fire that FPA-PM does not manage as
a WFU fire.
Fire Event Scenario
A fire event scenario is a representation of the annual fire activity initial response based on
historic fire occurrence. The fire event scenario is a collection of fire events based on
probabilities for use in FPA-PM.
Probability-based Fire Event Scenario
Random draws from fire occurrence distributions are used to generate the fire events in this fire
event scenario. Historic fire frequency is one foundation of the process. Fuel moisture values
and a wind speed are assigned to a fire event based on probability distributions generated using
historic weather data. Topographic and fuel conditions are also determined by a random draw
based on the occurrence of these attributes.
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Import FPA-PM Layer to Start New Analysis
PCHA needs certain information regarding the Figure 92
FPU. PCHA needs the unique FPA-PM
assigned identifier for each the FMU in the
FPU. These identifiers are necessary so that
the two programs, FPA-PM and PCHA, are
able to merge their respective data. PCHA
needs to know the FPU name. PCHA needs a
GIS shape file of the FMUs in the FPU. The attributes of the shape file provide information on a
unique FMU identifier and FMU name.
Before this menu item can be implemented, the user must download the GIS shape file created
by FPA-PM. The file created will be a zip file. Extracting that file will yield three files:
•
•
•
fpu.dbf
fpu.shp
fpu.shx
Figure 93
Selecting the FPA = > Import FPAPM Layer to Start New Analysis
menu will bring up the screen in
Figure 93.
Click Browse to open the Windows
File Manager dialog box. Navigate to
the folder where the GIS shape files
have been download to from FPA-PM
(Figure 94).
Figure 94
Click on the fpu.shp file and then click
Open. The screen in Figure 93 will
reappear with the path to the file
displayed in the gray window.
Click Import to complete the activity.
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Update FMU Information from FPA-PM Layer
Use this menu only if FMUs have already been
imported to PCHA from FPA-PM.
Figure 95
If the planner has copied the Planning Dataset within
FPA-PM creating new FMU record numbers in FPAPM, then the FMU record number in PCHA need to
be updated. Use of this menu item will not alter any
values in the PCHA database other than the FMU record numbers.
Selecting the FPA = > Update
FMU Layer from FPA-PM
Layer menu will bring up the
screen in Figure 96.
Figure 96
Click Browse to open the
Windows File Manager dialog
box. Navigate to the folder where the GIS shape files have been download to from FPA-PM
(Figure 94).
Click on the fpu.shp file and then click Open. The screen in Figure 96 will reappear with the
path to the file displayed in the gray window.
Click Import to complete the activity.
Edit FMU Attributes
An average NFDRS slope class (Table 26) must be
assigned to each FMU. Selecting the FPA > Edit FMU
Attributes menu will result in the display of the screen
shown in Figure 98. The screen in Figure 98 is
displayed as it would appear immediately following
import of the FPU’s shape file from FPA-PM using the
FPA = > Import FPA-PM Layer to Start New
Analysis menu.
Figure 97
Note there are field entries for the FMU_ID and the FMU_Name. All of the remaining columns
have a blank field value or a value defined in FPA-PM since processes within PCHA to populate
this field have not occurred.
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Figure 98
Below are sections that describe the fields that appear in the dialog when the FPA > Edit FMU
Attributes menu is selected. Each fields is described below.
FMU_ID Field
This is a non-editable field. This field is populated during Step 2b of the Process Steps to
Completion of Historic Analysis Using PCHA (Table 2). It contains the FMU identifier assigned
by FPA-PM prior to import of the FMUs to PCHA.
FMU_Name Field
This is a non-editable field. This field is populated during Step 2b of the Process Steps to
Completion of Historic Analysis Using PCHA (Table 2). It contains the FMU identifier assigned
by FPA-PM prior to import of the FMUs to PCHA.
CalcLat Field
This is a non-editable field. This field is populated during Step 8d of the Process Steps to
Completion of Historic Analysis Using PCHA (Table 2) when the FPA > Calculate/Edit Fire
Workload Point menu is implemented. It contains the calculated latitude for the Fire Workload
Point for the FMU. It is calculated as the average of the latitude values for all historic fires that
occurred during the analysis period.
Lat Field
This is a user-entered value for the latitude of the Fire Workload Point for the FMU. This field is
populated during Step 8d of the Process Steps to Completion of Historic Analysis Using PCHA
(Table 2). If a value is entered in this field, it will override the value entered in the CalcLat field.
To assign different latitude that was calculated, click in the cell on the row with the FMU_Name
in the Lat column. Enter the desired latitude. To enter the value in degrees, minutes and
seconds, enter the values separated by commas. The entry for 36 degrees, 23 minutes and 45
seconds would be 36,23,45. PCHA will convert the entry to decimal degrees (36.23 degrees).
The user can also enter the latitude in decimal degrees.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
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CalcLon Field
This is a non-editable field. This field is populated during Step 8d of the Process Steps to
Completion of Historic Analysis Using PCHA (Table 2) when the FPA > Calculate/Edit Fire
Workload Point menu is implemented. It contains the calculated longitude for the Fire
Workload Point for the FMU. It is calculated as the average of the longitude values for all
historic fires that occurred during the analysis period.
Lon Field
This is a user-entered value for the longitude of the Fire Workload Point for the FMU. This field
is populated during Step 8d of the Process Steps to Completion of Historic Analysis Using
PCHA (Table 2). If a value is entered in this field, it will override the value entered in the
CalcLat field.
To assign a different longitude that was calculated, click in the cell on the row with the
FMU_Name in the Lan column. Enter the desired longitude. To enter the value in degrees,
minutes and seconds, enter the values separated by commas. The entry for 118 degrees, 12
minutes and 30 seconds would be 118,12,30. PCHA will convert the entry to decimal degrees
(118.12 degrees). The user can also enter the longitude in decimal degrees.
Slope Class Field
This field is populated initially by PCHA as a slope class
2. During Step 2c of the Process Steps to Completion of
Historic Analysis Using PCHA (Table 2), the planner
verified and edits this field entry. An average NFDRS
slope class (Table 26) needs to be assigned to each
FMU. To determine the slope class to use, consider
obtaining from the GIS specialist the number of acres in
the FMU within each slope class. Also consider the
historic fire occurrence locations to see if they tend to
occur within certain slope classes.
Table 26
NFDRS
Slope Class
1
2
3
4
5
Slope
Breaks
0 - 25%
26 - 40%
41 – 55%
56 – 75%
76+%
Slope
Used
22.5%
31.8%
44.5%
63.6%
90%
To assign a representative average NFDRS slope class to each FMU, click in the cell on the row
with the FMU_Name in the Slope Class column. The five slope class options shown in Table 26
will appear. Click on the desired slope class.
WFUFM Field
This field is populated initially by PCHA with a NFDRS fuel model G (Table 27). During Step
13 of the Process Steps to Completion of Historic Analysis Using PCHA (Table 2), the planner
verified and edits this field entry. This is the NFDRS fuel model that was used to determine
WFU management complexity, critical fire danger indices for the Burning Index (BI) and/or
Energy Release Component (ERC). These critical indices are used in the decision criteria to
determine if a candidate WFU fire can be accepted as a WFU fire or will be managed as a
wildfire in FPA-PM.
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Table 27 – NFDRS Fuel Models
Fuel
Description
Model
A
Western annual grass
B
California mixed chaparral
C
Pine grass savannah
D
Southern rough
E
Hardwoods (winter)
F
Intermediate brush
G
Closed short needle conifer (heavy)
H
Closed short needle conifer (light)
I
Heavy logging slash
J
Medium logging slash
Fuel
Model
K
L
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
Description
Light logging slash
Western perennial grass
Sawgrass
High pocosin
Southern pine plantation
Alaska black spruce
Hardwoods (summer)
Alaska tundra
Sagebrush grass
Western long needle conifer
To assign a different NFDRS fuel model than the default to an FMU, click in the cell on the row
with the FMU_Name in the WFUFM column. Enter the desired NFDRS fuel model. To have
the new field value read to the database, click on a different FMU row or use the up or down
arrow keys on the keyboard to move the cursor to a different row.
ERCFM Field
This field is populated initially by PCHA with a NFDRS fuel model G (Table 27). During Step
13 of the Process Steps to Completion of Historic Analysis Using PCHA (Table 2), the planner
verified and edits this field entry. The NFDRS fuel model assigned for the Energy Release
Component (ERC) calculation is used to assign an ERC value to each day in the year during the
Analysis Period using the weather data set developed for the FMU in Step 6b (Table 2).
To assign a different NFDRS fuel model than the default to an FMU, click in the cell on the row
with the FMU_Name in the WFUFM column. Enter the desired NFDRS fuel model. To have
the new field value read to the database, click on a different FMU row or use the up or down
arrow keys on the keyboard to move the cursor to a different row.
RainDays Field and RainInches Field
This field is populated initially by PCHA 3 in the RainDays column and 2 in the RainInches
column. The default values indicate a fire-ending weather event has occurred when a total of
two inches or more are measured over three days. The weather data set for each FMU is used to
determine this occurrence. During Step 13 of the Process Steps to Completion of Historic
Analysis Using PCHA (Table 2), the planner verified and edits this field entry.
WFUSpreadPct Field
This field is populated initially by PCHA 30 percent. During Step 13 of the Process Steps to
Completion of Historic Analysis Using PCHA (Table 2), the planner verified and edits this field
entry. This is the percent of the days during the life of a WFU fire that the fire has a measurable
forward spread.
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Assign Weather Station to FMUs
Figure 99
This menu item will facilitate the assigning, in
priority order, of the weather station and the
observation used to assign a weather
observation to each day within the analysis
period. Once completed, PCHA creates a
weather data set for each FMU using the FPA
> Create FMU Weather Data Set menu.
Before this menu activity can be completed,
the planner needs to have defined a weather
station(s) using the File > Weather Stations menu.
Selecting the FPA > Assign Weather Station to FMUs menu will display a dialog box similar
to the one shown in Figure 100. As initially displayed, the FMU list will appear in the window
on the left and the other two windows will be blank. Clicking on an FMU name will cause the
weather stations defined in the File > Weather Stations menu to be displayed. Note that for
each weather station, there are three options provided for a weather observation: the day of
interest, the day prior to the day of interest, and two days prior to the day of interest. These will
be referred to as weather station/observation day combinations.
Figure 100
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
To assign the primary weather station/observation day combination to the FMU, click on it in the
center window and then click >>. In the example in Figure 100, selecting the weather station
044701 (Ash Mountain) as the primary weather station/observation day combination would
result in a screen as shown in Figure 101.
Figure 101
Assigning weather station/observation day combinations might result in a priority listing as
shown in Figure 102. The planner should continue this process for each FMU.
To adjust the priority listing for a weather station/observation day combination in the right
window, the planner can move that weather station/observation day combination up or down in
the priority listing by clicking Up or Down.
Figure 102
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Create FMU Weather Data Set
Figure 103
This menu item facilitates the assignment of a
weather observation to each day within the
analysis period. This must be done for each
FMU. The assignments provide the definition of
a weather data set for the FMU. The weather
observations assigned to a day for each FMU is
based on the prioritization of weather
station/observation day combinations
accomplished using the FPA > Assign Weather
Station to FMUs menu. The FPA > Assign
Weather Station to FMUs menu activity must be completed before this activity.
Figure 104
Selecting the FPA > Create FMU
Weather Data Set menu will result in
the display of the dialog box in Figure
104. To proceed, click OK. PCHA
will display the FMU names as it
works, finally displaying a Done message. To complete the activity, click OK in the Done
dialog box.
View Missing Weather Report
Figure 105
Selecting this menu will result in the preparation of a
report similar to the one shown in Figure 107.
Select the FPA > View Missing Weather Report
menu and the dialog in Figure 106 will appear. Check
the box if you desire to see a list of FMU/date
combinations with no weather observation assignment
within the Fire Preparedness Staffing Season. If this
box is unchecked, a list for the entire year will be
created.
Figure 106
Figure 107
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Report Possible Duplicate Fires
Figure 108
With interagency partners participating in an FPU, it is
possible for a historic fire to have a duplicate fire
report record for each agency in the database. This can
happen if each agency that responded to the fire
completed its own agency’s fire report.
Selecting FPA > Report Possible Duplicate Fires will
result in the display of the dialog in Figure 109. Click
OK to have PCHA prepare the report.
This menu item will produce a report that contains
possible duplicate fire report records. An example
report is shown in Figure 110. Note that the Paradise
fire has a fire report record from both the Forest
Service and the BLM.
Figure 109
Figure 110
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 85
It is recommended that the fire record from the agency that manages the land be the fire record
retained. The fire that is the duplicate record must be removed from the analysis by checking the
box on the FPA tab to exclude duplicate fires. To designate a fire record as a duplicate record,
select Fire > Edit Fires > FPA tab.
To aid understand, an example will be presented. Selecting the Fire > Edit Fires menu, the
screen in Figure 100 will be displayed. The Event tab will be displayed by default.
Figure 110
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
In Figure 110, it was noted that the
Paradise fire appears to have two fire
report records. To locate these records in
the PCHA database, click Search
Criteria. Enter Paradise in the Fire
Name cell and 5/23/2003 in the
Discovery Date cell. Click Begin
Search.
Figure 111
The dialog in Figure 111 will appear if
the user clicking on the Location Tab..
Note the text in the lower left “EDIT 1 of
2.” This indicates two fire records have
been selected.
The fire record in Figure 111 is from a
BLM unit. The fire record in Figure 112
is from a Forest Service unit. The
Paradise fire was located on Forest
Service land so the Forest Service fire
record should be the one used in PCHA.
Figure 112
Figure 113
Select the BLM fire record and click on
the FPA (Figure 113). Click in the box
titled PCHA for FPA Should Exclude
This Duplicate Fire. Then click Save.
This action will leave the BLM fire
report in the PCHA database but the
Forest Service fire report will used for
historic analysis purposes.
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Page 87
Fires Missing Data Required for FPA
Figure 114
Required information from the fire report for each
historic fire to be used for the probability-based fire
event scenario process includes:
•
Fire Type/Protection Type code for DOI
agency fires
Fire location
Discovery date
•
•
Some information from the fire report for each historic
fire is used to develop frequency distributions.
Random draws from these distributions are used in the
probability-based fire event scenario generation
process. Frequency distributions are developed for:
•
•
•
Figure 115
Discovery time
Fire control date
Statistical cause
These are desired data fields. There must be an
adequate number of fires with values for the desired
fields so reliable frequency distributions can be
developed.
Selecting FPA > Fires Missing Data Required for FPA will result in the display of the dialog
in Figure 113. Select the fires you desire to include and then click OK to have PCHA prepare
the report. This menu item will produce a report that lists fire records with missing, required,
and/or desirable data fields. An example report is shown in Figure 116.
Figure 116
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Assign Fires to FMU Using GIS
Figure 117
This menu item facilitates the assignment of each historic
fire to an FMU. This is done using the GIS capability
within PCHA. All fires must have a location expressed in
latitude and longitude. In addition, this location must be
checked for accuracy.
Selecting the FPA >Import FPA-PM Layer to Start New
Analysis menu opens the screen in Figure 118.
If the path to the FMU shape file is not displayed or is
incorrect, click Browse to open the Windows File Manager dialog
box allowing the planner to navigate Figure 118
to the folder where the GIS shape
files have been downloaded from
FPA-PM (Figure 119).
Click on the desired fpu.shp file and
then click Open. The screen in
Figure 118 will reappear with the
path to the file displayed in the gray
window.
Figure 119
Click OK to complete the activity.
PCHA will complete the
assignments. When the program is
finished, a dialog will appear
indicating Fires have been
Assigned. Click OK.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
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View FMU Assignment Results
Figure 120
This menu item produces a report showing the assignment of
fires to FMUs and a list of fires that have not been assigned to
an FMU. The most likely reason a fire would not be assigned
to an FMU is because the location of the fire is outside of the
FPU boundary.
Selecting the FPA = > View FMU Assignment Results menu
will produce the screen in Figure 121. Click OK and a report
similar to the excerpt shown in Figures 122 and 123 will
appear. Figure 122 shows the first part of the report
with the number of fires assigned to each FMU. Figure 123
shows the second part of the report, which is a
Figure 121
list of fires that have not been assigned to an
FMU.
Figure 122
Figure 123
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Calculate/Edit FMU Workload Point
Figure 124
The FPA-PM model requires a fire workload point for
each FMU. PCHA will determine this point by
obtaining an average of all latitude and longitude
locations for each fire included in each FMU. This
menu item facilitates the calculation of a workload
point for each FMU.
Selecting the FPA >Calculate/Edit FMU Workload
Point will implement this activity and a screen similar
to the one in Figure 125 will appear. The PCHA
calculated latitude and longitude are in the Calc Lat
and Calc Lon columns respectively. If the planner
feels that the calculated workload point does not
adequately represent the general area where fries are most likely to occur within the FMU, the
planner can override this calculated value by entering a latitude and longitude in the Man Lat and
Man Log columns respectively. The workload point locations that are determined can be
reviewed by using the features found in the GIS menu. The points can be displayed and mapped
on the FMU polygons along with the fire locations.
Figure 125
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Identify FMU ASCII Grid Files
An ASCII Grid file is a file containing alphanumeric values for landscape features such as slope,
aspect and elevation. Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) are digital files consisting of points of
elevations, sampled systematically at equally spaced intervals. DEM files are available for the
entire United States from the U. S. Geological Service (USGS). The spatial relationship of these
points is used to derive the slope and aspect values by referencing adjacent elevation points.
The fire planner needs to work with local GIS specialists to develop ASCII Grid files. Refer to
the FPA Reference Guide for guidelines on how to obtain and prepare these files. Each FMU
must be totally enclosed within only one set of grid files. In other words, one grid file may
include numerous FMUs (or the entire FPU), but an FMU may not be split, requiring two
different grid files. FMU polygons may be discontinuous.
Grid File Naming
FPA-PM requires matched sets of Grid files. The files in each set must exactly cover the spatial
area. Each ASCII Grid file for an FMU must have a file name formatted as follows:
BaseFileName_DataLayer.asc,
•
•
•
BaseFileName is an identifier such as CenOrEastside.
DataLayer is the data in the Grid file.
Each file in the set must have the file extension of .asc and a second file
with an extension of .prj.
Table 28 provides a summary
of the requirements.
Table 28
Attribute
Slope
Aspect
Elevation
FBPS Fuel Model
Canopy Cover
Canopy Base Height
Canopy Bulk Density
Stand Height
Page 92
Data
Layer ID
slope
aspect
elev
fuel
canopy
cbh
cbd
height
Example
southsierra_slope.asc
southsierra_aspect.asc
southsierra_elev.asc
southsierra_fuel.asc
southsierra_canopy.asc
southsierra_cbh.asc
southsierra_cbd.asc
southsierra_height.asc
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Once prepared, these files must be imported into PCHA.
Selecting FPA > Identify FMU ASCII Grid Files will
facilitate this process (Figure 126).
Figure 126
The dialog in Figure 127 will be displayed. The dialog is used
to identify to PCHA the folder location where the ASCII Grid
files reside as well as the units of each of the Grid Files.
FMU
Use the pull-down to select the FMU Grid file cover.
Units
Click the radio button on the Units area to
designate the units the grid is in.
Figure 127
Elevation Grid File
Click Browse and use the Windows dialog to
navigate to the file location where the
BaseFileName_elev.asc file is located. In the
example in Figure 127, the file location is
displayed in the “Look in”cell and the file name
is southernsierra_elev.asc. Note that all of the
ASCII Grid files must reside in the same folder
as the ASCII Grid elevation file. Click Open
and the file path should appear in the cell to the
right of the Elevation Grid File title (Figure 128).
Figure 128
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 93
Units of the Slope, Aspect and Elevation Grid Files
Select the appropriate units Figure 129
for each of the topographic
ASCII Grid data layers
(Figure 129).
Elevation
Use the radio button to select either feet or meters.
Slope
Use the radio button to select either degrees or percent.
Aspect
Use the radio button to select either aspect category (1-25) or degrees. Aspect 25 is flat and 1 is
North with the numbers assigned to aspects going in a clockwise direction.
Using Spatial Fuel Type Attribute Data Layers
If an ASCII Grid file will
be used to define fuel types Figure 130
for an FMU, check the Use
Fuel Type GRID Files
box and select the
appropriate units for each
of the fuel type ASCII Grid
data layers (Figure 130).
Fuel Model
The fuel models must be from the Fire Behavior Prediction System (FBPS) (Anderson 1982).
No custom fuel models are allowed. Use fuel model 98 to designate water and fuel model 99 to
designate unburnable.
Canopy Cover
Canopy cover is normally measured as
a percent. It is based on the linear
length of canopy versus the length of
open space. Click the appropriate
radio button to specify the units as
either Category (0-4) (Table 28) or the
percent.
Table 28 – Definition of Canopy Cover Categories
Category
Range
Used in Calculations
0
0%
0%
1
1 – 20%
10%
2
21–50%
35%
3
51-80%
65%
4
81-100%
90%
Stand Height
For an individual tree, height is the measurement from ground level to the tree tip. Averaging
the heights for all trees in a stand gives an estimate of the stand height. Click the appropriate
radio button to specify either meters, meters * 10, feet or feet * 10.
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Canopy Base Height (1-299 feet)
For an individual tree, a measurement of the height from the base of the crown to the tree tip can
be made. The average of these values for all trees in a stand gives an estimate of the level of the
stand canopy base height. Frequently, this is a measure of where the limbs of the canopy start
vertically, but the number can be skewed by the presence of small trees or occasional live limbs.
A more meaningful value is the height above the ground of the first canopy layer where the
density of the crown mass within the layer is high enough to support vertical movement of a fire.
Click the appropriate radio button to specify either meters, meters * 10, feet or feet * 10.
Canopy Bulk Density (kg/m3)
Mathematically, canopy bulk density (CBD) (kg/m3) is canopy biomass divided by the volume
occupied by crown fuels. Canopy bulk density is hard to estimate in the field. Initially, it seems
attractive to calculate this value by treating the canopy as a box with the depth, the stand height,
minus the canopy base height. Assuming this box covered an acre (43,560 ft2), dividing the fuel
loading in the canopy by the volume of box would provide an estimate of average canopy bulk
density. Unfortunately, this estimate has a bias toward underestimation of canopy bulk density
due to the averaging of largely void areas in the top and bottom of the canopy with the more
dense layers of foliage. A fire burning vertically within the crowns will most likely propagate
through denser canopy layers. Click the appropriate radio button to specify either kg/m3, kg/m3
* 100, lbs/ft3 or lbs/ft3 * 100. For information on how to determine CBD, refer to the FPA
Reference Guide.
To determine CBH and CBD values that are reasonable for the FPU, consult with fire behavior
specialists familiar with defining these values for use in the FARSITE program. Also consult the
publication Stereo Photo Guide for Estimating Canopy Fuel Characteristics in Conifer Stands
(Scott and Reinhardt 2005). A utility exists in PCHA (FPA>FBPS Calculations), which
calculates resultant fire behavior using all three attributes of a fuel type, and five attributes of a
topographic type.
Assigning More Than one FMU to a Set of Grid Files
At the bottom of the dialog shown in
Figure 131
Figure 131 is an area where the
planner may identify additional
FMUs that have the same set of
GRID files as the one shown in the
Elevation Grid File cell.
Click on an FMU to identify it as an
FMU with the same set of GRID files
as the one shown in the Elevation
Grid File cell. Click Select ALL to
identify all of the FMUs in the FPU to have the same set of GRID files as the FMU shown in the
Elevation Grid File cell. Click Clear ALL to reverse the action from Select ALL.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 95
FPU Fuel Types
In review, a fuel type is a unique combination of
the following:
•
•
•
•
•
Figure 132
Canopy cover
Surface (FBPS) fuel model
Canopy base height
Canopy bulk density
Stand height
If at least one FMU in the FPU will have fuel types
defined non-spatially, the planner must define each
of the possible fuel types. All fuel types that exist
in an FMU that will have fuel types defined nonspatially must to be defined.
The information for fuel layers may be developed
from existing vegetation data layers in administrative unit GIS files. The fire planner can
determine the specific attributes needed for defining a fuel type with the assistance of other fire
personnel having fuels expertise and a local silviculturist.
To define fuel types for the FPU, select FPA > FPU Fuel Types menu (Figure 132). The
window shown in Figure 133 will appear.
Figure 133
The planner should complete the cell entries for all fuel types that are in FMUs that will have
fuel types defined non-spatially. An example is shown in Figure 134.
Figure 134
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
FMU Fuel Type Percents
Figure 135
The planner must manually enter the proportion of each fuel
type in each FMU that will have fuel types defined nonspatially. These proportions can be determined by using a
GIS or by using professional judgment to estimate from
remote sensing images.
Select FPA > FMU Fuel Type Percents. Click on an FMU
to select it and a dialog similar to Figure 136 will appear.
Click on the fuel type desired in the right window. Enter
the percent of the FMU that is covered by the fuel type in
the box labeled Percent and then click Save. Do this for
each fuel type in the FMU. Note that the sum of the
percentages in an FMU must be 100%.
Note that the entered values are not saved until the user
clicks on another FMU name different from the one being
defined.
Figure 136
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Page 97
Generate Points, Topography and Fuels
This menu item supports the
generation of landscape points,
the collection of topographic data
and fuels data.
Figure 132
Generate Landscape Points
This menu facilitates the
generation of the random
locations within each FMU.
These locations are called
landscape points and are defined
by a latitude and longitude. Each
landscape point further defines
unique combinations of the
topographic type and the fuel type
assigned. These unique
combinations are determined by
the topographic attributes and fuel
type attributes at the latitude and longitude defined by the landscape point.
Landscape points are used for two purposes:
•
Definition of the start location for a fire event
•
Definition of the topographic type and fuel type for each day that an accepted WFU fire
exhibits forward fire movement
As such, PCHA generates many more landscape points than the number of fire events in a fire
event scenario. The additional landscape points are available to facilitate the modeling of the
total fire event spread distance for an accepted WFU fire event.
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
To generate landscape points, select the
FPA>Generate Points, Topography and
Fuels>Generate Landscape Points menu
(Figure 133).
Figure 133
The dialog shown in Figure 134 will
appear. Click on the Browse button and navigate to the file location for the fpu shape file
(fpu.shp) (Figure 135).
Figure 134
Figure 135
Click on the Open button and a dialog similar to the one in Figure 136 will appear. Check to be
sure the path to the FMU shape file is correct and then click the OK button. When PCHA
completes the generation of landscape points, the number of landscape points generated will be
displayed along with a Done dialog (Figure 137). To complete the activity, click OK.
Figure 136
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Figure 137
Page 99
Collect Topographic Data
This menu item facilitates the assigning
of topographic attributes (slope, aspect
and elevation) to each of the landscape
points. Using one of the following two
methods can retrieve these topographic
attributes for the latitude and longitude
of the landscape point:
Figure 138
•
Internet and a National Topographic Database: Sending the latitude and longitude
location via the Internet to a computer with a program that will retrieve the topographic
attributes for the location and send these attributes back to PCHA via the Internet
•
Local Grid Files - Locating the latitude and longitude location on the slope aspect and
elevation ASCII Grid files and retrieving the topographic attributes from these Grid Files
The planners must decide which method will be used.
Internet and a National Topographic Database
This method requires a active high speed Internet connection to the computer being used. PCHA
will send the latitude and longitude of a landscape point to an Internet server and the slope,
aspect and elevation of the landscape point will be returned to PCHA. Although this process is
time intensive, it is recommended because the data comes from a known and maintained source.
Local Grid Files
If this method will be used, planner must implement Step 9 in Table 2 (Process Steps to
Completion of Historic Analysis Using PCHA). In the step, the planner gathers the ASCII
topographic grid files for import into PCHA. The import is performed using the FPA > Identify
FMU ASCII Files menu. If the fuel types in the FMU will also be assigned using ASCII grid
files, then both of these activities can be accomplished at the same time. Refer to the FPA
Reference Guide for specific information on how to attain and develop the topographic ASCII
grid files.
Figure 139
To assign topographic attributes to
landscape points, select the FPA >
Generate Points, Topography and
Fuels > Collect Topographic Data
menu (Figure 138). The dialog shown
in Figure 139 will appear.
Click on the desired method and click
OK.
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Collect Fuels Data
Figure 140
This menu item facilitates the assigning
of fuel type attributes (canopy cover,
surface fuel model, canopy base height,
canopy bulk density and stand height) to
each of the landscape points. Theis fuel
type definition process was defined for each FMU in Steps 10 and 12 of Table 2 (Process Steps
to Completion of Historic Analysis Using PCHA).
To assign topographic attributes to
landscape points, select the FPA >
Generate Points, Topography and
Fuels > Collect Fuels Data menu
(Figure 140). The dialog shown in
Figure 141 will appear.
Figure 141
Select the two options based on how
fuel types are defined for the FMUs in the FPU and click OK.
Calculate ERC and Wind Speed Bins, Fire Probabilities
PCHA automates the creation of several necessary
probability distributions and tables required for the
creation of fire event scenarios. A detailed
description of the process used by PCHA is
contained in the FPA-PM Reference Guide.
Figure 142
To perform this activity, select FPA > Calculate
ERC and Wind Speed Bins, Fire Probabilities.
The dialog shown in Figure 143 will appear. Click
OK.
Figure 143
When done, a Calculations Complete dialog will
appear. Click OK to close that dialog screen.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
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Determine Preparedness Staffing Season
Figure 144
PCHA contains a screen that shows fire danger
variables and a distribution of fire occurrence in a
calendar year. To access this screen, select FPA >
Determine Preparedness Staffing Season (Figure
144). The screen in Figure 145 will be displayed.
At the top, the planner can view a bar graph of
ERC, SC or BI through the year for the FPU. At
the bottom of the screen, the planner can view
average fire occurrence per day for the Analysis
Period.
The Preparedness Season is then defined by PCHA
as the period(s) containing 90% of the fires in the
Analysis Period. Note that multiple discontinuous
periods can be designated. In Figure 146, there is a
display of the time of the year when 90% of the
fires happen.
Figure 145
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Figure 146
Data Validation – Check for Completeness of Data
This menu item will generate a report displaying
information on any incomplete processes or missing
data, which are needed before PCHA can prepare a
probability-based fire event scenario.
Figure 147
Selecting the FPA > Data Validation – Check for
Completeness of Data menu (Figure 147) will result in
the display of the screen in Figure 148. Clicking Ok
will produce a report similar to the one shown in Figure
149.
Figure 148
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 103
The planner must correct the described problems before attempting to generate a probabilitybased fire event scenario.
Figure 149
03-16-2005
FPU: Southern Sierra FPU
PCHA Database: D:\PCHA99\PCHA99Example.mdb
Analysis Years:
================================================================================================
Analysis Years OK: 1984-2003
FMU Data Missing:
================================================================================================
FMU Data OK.
FMU GRID Files:
================================================================================================
Cannot locate C:\Program Files\pcha\southsierra_aspect.asc
Cannot locate C:\Program Files\pcha\southsierra_aspect.prj
Cannot locate C:\Program Files\pcha\southsierra_elev.asc
Cannot locate C:\Program Files\pcha\southsierra_elev.prj
Cannot locate C:\Program Files\pcha\southsierra_slope.asc
Cannot locate C:\Program Files\pcha\southsierra_slope.prj
Cannot locate C:\Program Files\pcha\southsierra_canopy.asc
Cannot locate C:\Program Files\pcha\southsierra_canopy.prj
Cannot locate C:\Program Files\pcha\southsierra_cbd.asc
Cannot locate C:\Program Files\pcha\southsierra_cbd.prj
Cannot locate C:\Program Files\pcha\southsierra_cbh.asc
Cannot locate C:\Program Files\pcha\southsierra_cbh.prj
Cannot locate C:\Program Files\pcha\southsierra_fuel.asc
Cannot locate C:\Program Files\pcha\southsierra_fuel.prj
Cannot locate C:\Program Files\pcha\southsierra_height.asc
Cannot locate C:\Program Files\pcha\southsierra_height.prj
Weather Data:
================================================================================================
No Weather errors found.
Fuels/Topography Data:
================================================================================================
Breckenridge: ERROR - no random points with fuels and topography found.
Claraville: ERROR - no random points with fuels and topography found.
Isabella: ERROR - no random points with fuels and topography found.
Piute Mountains: ERROR - no random points with fuels and topography found.
Fire Data:
================================================================================================
Total fire records during Analysis Years: 2462
Fires with wrong Fire Type/Protection Type: 0
Fires outside any FMU: 9
Counted fires during Analysis Years: 2453
Fires which cannot be included in probabilities due to no matching weather: 55
Number of fires utilized for FPA probabilities: 2398
Approximate annual number of fires expected to be drawn for FPA: 120
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
A “clean” run showing now problems is shown in Figure 150.
Figure 150
03-16-2005
23:34:21
FPU:
PCHA Database: D:\PCHA99\PCHA99Example.mdb
Analysis Years:
=================================================================================================
Analysis Years OK: 1984-2003
FMU Data Missing:
=================================================================================================
FMU Data OK.
FMU GRID Files:
=================================================================================================
No problems locating GRID files.
Weather Data:
=================================================================================================
No Weather errors found.
Fuels/Topography Data:
=================================================================================================
Topo and Fuels data have been collected.
Fire Data:
=================================================================================================
Total fire records during Analysis Years: 2462
Fires with wrong Fire Type/Protection Type: 0
Fires outside any FMU: 9
Counted fires during Analysis Years: 2453
Fires which cannot be included in probabilities due to no matching weather: 55
Number of fires utilized for FPA probabilities: 2398
Approximate annual number of fires expected to be drawn for FPA: 120
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
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Prepare Probability-Based Fire Event Scenario and XML File for FPA
A probability-based fire event scenario is a
collection of fires that represents one year of fire
occurrence within an FPU. The fires are randomly
created and attributed using probability matrices
created from the historic data for the FPU. To
perform this activity, click FPA > Prepare
Probability-based Fire Event Scenario (Figure
151). The dialog in Figure 152 will appear. Click
OK to proceed.
Figure 151
Figure 152
After OK is clicked in response to the prompt,
PCHA will run for a while preparing the fire event
scenario. When it is finished, it will automatically prepare the XML file (Figure 153). Click OK
to complete the activity.
Figure 153
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
View FPA Scenario Details
Figure 154
The planner can now view a series of reports about the
fire event scenario. The reports can be accessed using
the FPA menu in PCHA. Select FPA > View
Scenario Details and the dialog in Figure 155 will
appear.
Figure 155
Select the reports that are desired for viewing.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
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The Reports Menu
Figure 156 – The Reports Menu
PCHA can generate and print a variety of reports and
graphs.
Database Queries
Figure 157 – The Database Queries Menu
Each of these reports allows the planner
to enter the period of years of data to be
included in the report. The planner can
customize the title of a report (Figure
159).
Database Queries Reports Available
Figure 150 shows the reports available under the Reports >
Database Queries menu item. To create a report, select the
menu item desired. Enter the beginning and ending years for
the data period desired and click OK. Enter a title (Figure
159) and click OK to generate the report. To close the Report
window, click on the X in the upper right corner of the
display window.
Figure 158 – Database
Queries Reports Available
Figure 159 – Custom Naming
of a Report Dialog
Printing a Report
When the report is displayed on the screen, click on the Print
icon in the upper left corner to print the report.
Report Text Files
When PCHA creates a report, it saves that report as an ASCII
text file in the folder where PCHA is installed. The path to
the file and the file name appear at the top of the report
display window (Figure 160). These report files can be
viewed in any word processing program. Note that a Courier
font must be used for this text. Assigning a proportional font
to the text will cause the report to appear incorrectly.
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Figure 160 – Location of Path
and File Name
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Description of Reports
A description of each report follows.
Fires and Acres by Size Class Report
PCHA will create a report named FBYSZ.TXT that lists the
number of fires and acres burned by year and size class. The
setup screen allows the planner to select any combination of
fires by statistical cause. The top line of each pair shows
the number of fires and the lower line shows acres burned
(Figure 161). The setup screen allows the planner to select
only lightning fires, only human caused fires, or any
combination of fires by statistical cause.
Figure 161 – Example from the
Fires and Acres by Size Class
Report
Fires and Acres by Statistical Cause Report
PCHA will create a report named FBYSTAT.TXT that shows the number of fires by statistical
cause.
Fires Within Lat/Lon Report
PCHA will create a report named REPLL.TXT that lists
fires within a rectangle defined by the planner. The planner
will need to enter the latitude and longitude in degrees and
minutes for the northwest and southeast corners (Figure
162). After entering the northwest and southeast
coordinates, click OK. The report lists the boundaries
entered as well as the discovery date, fire number, township,
range, section, subsection, meridian, latitude, and longitude
for each fire located within the rectangle defined.
Figure 162 – The Fires Within
Lat/Lon Report Setup Dialog
Custom Reports
Figure 163 – The Custom
Reports Menu
With this menu, the user can generate custom queries of the
database and display these queries as reports.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
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The Utilities Menu
The Utilities menu has many tools and aids to support work
by the fire planner. The Utilities menu is shown in Figure
164.
Figure 164 – The Utilities
Menu
Database Browser
This menu allows the planner to view the information in the
data tables in the PCHA database. An example of the
Database Browser menu screen is shown in Figure 165.
Figure 165 – The Database
Browser Menu
In the example in Figure 166, the Fire data table has been
selected. To view any database table, click on the table
name in the column on the left side of the screen. Click on
the scroll bar along the bottom to move the viewing window
right or left. To move up or down, use the scroll bar on the
right side of the window. To exit the window, click X in the
upper right corner of the window.
Figure 166 – Example of Database Browser Screen
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
This window allows the planner the opportunity to view but not change information contained in
the data tables of the PCHA database. PCHA displays the internal representation of the data
hence some of the entries may appear confusing. For example, township -3 means 3S. Values in
the Herb_Annual field are 0 and –1, which are binary numerical representations for Yes and No.
Displays can be sorted by the value in a column. To do this, click on the column header. It will
sort the complete set of records based on the values in the selected column. Clicking again will
sort the records in reverse order. It is not possible to drag and drop columns in the display.
Database Structure
This menu allows the planner to view the structure of the
PCHA database. Selecting this menu will result in a report.
An excerpt of this report is shown in Figure 168. The report
lists the tables in the database together with each field and
the field data type. To move up or down, use the scroll bar
on the right side of the window. To exit the window, click
X in the upper right corner of the window. The report is
saved in the folder where PCHA is installed with a file
name of DBSTRUCT.REP.
Figure 167 – The Database
Structure Menu
Figure 168 – Example of Database Structure Screen
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
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View Base Meridians
This menu item allows the planner to view the codes for the
principal meridian. Selecting this menu will yield a blank
version of the dialog in Figure 170. Click Search to see the
first principal meridian in the database. An explanation of
each field and button follows.
Figure 169 – The View Base
Meridians Menu
NIFMID Code
This is the alpha code used in NIFMID to identify the
Principal Meridian. The Planner can search for records with
this field. The principal meridian name will be displayed.
Code in CONVERT
The CONVERT program uses a different set of
abbreviations to identify principal meridians. This field
displays the code used in CONVERT.
Clear Button
The Clear button deletes entries in the screen boxes to
facilitate the start of a new search.
Figure 170 – The View Base
Meridians Dialog
Save Button
The Save button is academic as an edit cannot be saved.
This is a view only screen.
Search Button
Press Search to find the first meridian record in the database. Once a record is displayed, the
First, Previous, Next, and Last buttons can be used to move through the meridians.
Delete Button
The Delete button is academic, as an edit cannot be saved. This is a view only screen.
First, Previous, Next, and Last Buttons
The First button displays the first meridian record in the database. The Previous and Next
buttons display the meridian record before or after the current meridian record. The Last button
displays the last meridian record in the database. These buttons show light gray if there are no
meridian records in the database.
Print Button
The Print button tells the computer to generate a page that looks like the meridian screen.
Exit Button
The Exit button closes the meridian entry screen and returns to the main PCHA screen.
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Site-Specific Corrections
This function enables the planner to define various sitespecific values that will display additions or subtractions to
fuel moisture values. The calculations are developed to
make changes to the 1-h timelag fuel moisture from weather
observation site to a fire location site. The variables used
include:
Figure 171 – The Site-Specific
Corrections Menu
•
•
•
The month of the year,
The time of day
The elevation difference between the weather
observation site and the fire location site
• The aspect at the fire location site
• The shading at the fire location site
• The slope at the fire location site
Figure 172 – The Site-Specific Corrections
This utility uses the same process used in
Dialog
PCHA to assign 1-h timelag fuel moisture to
a historic fire during the calculation that
assigns a rate of spread and flame length to a
historic fire.
Month
Click on the month. Note this sets the defaults
to: Exposure defaults to Shaded, Site defaults
to Below, Aspect defaults to North, Slope to
31+%, and Time to 0800. These defaults must
be reset if other values are desired.
Shading
Choose unshaded for areas with 0-50% canopy cover/cloud cover and shaded for areas with a
canopy cover/cloud cover of 51-100%.
Aspect
Choose one of the four cardinal directions.
Time
Only daylight hours are included, in two-hour bands, since the calculations show only the effects
of solar radiation on the fuels.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
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Site
Click on the choice that represents the difference in elevation between the weather observation
site and the fire location site. Note that if this difference is greater than 2000 feet, it is advised
that a correction be made. A new weather observation site needs to be established that is within
2000 feet of elevation of the fire location site.
Slope
Choose one of the slope options.
Add to Dead Fuel Moisture
The red value shows the increase (or decrease) in 1-h timelag fuel moisture value from the
weather station calculated 1-h timelag fuel moisture value.
Exit Button
The Exit button closes the site-specific corrections entry screen and returns the user to the PCHA
main menu.
Calculate Hours of Daylight
This routine displays the number of daylight hours per day
for a given latitude and date (Figure 174). Enter the latitude
in degrees, the date (mm/dd or mm/dd/yyyy are both
acceptable), and then Calculate. The hours and minutes of
daylight will appear.
Figure 173 – The Calculate
Hours of Daylight Menu
Figure 174
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Location Conversion (LL, TRS, UTNM)
This utility converts any one of the following formats to the
other three. The four formats are:
•
•
•
•
Figure 175 – The Location
Conversion Menu
Township, Range and Section (TRS)
Latitude and Longitude in Decimal Format
Latitude and Longitude in Degrees, Minutes and
Seconds Format
UTM
This standalone utility can be used by the planner for
incidental conversions between the formats.
Step 1
Determine the location format
that is to be converted.
Figure 176 – The Location Conversion Menu
Step 2
Enter the required information
for the location to be converted
in the appropriate area.
Step 3
Click on the appropriate button in
the Convert FROM section.
The location value will appear in
the other three formats.
Thus utility uses the same
equations that are used in the
Fire > Calculate Lat/Lon From Legal menu function. This menu facilitates the conversion of
Township, Range, and Section to Latitude and Longitude.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
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FBPS Calculations
This utility uses the same equations that calculate rate of
spread and flame length for a fire event. It is provided so
that a planner can test the expected fire behavior in a fuel
type under a defined set of weather and topographic
conditions. Selecting Utilities > FBPS Calculations will
yield the dialog shown in Figure 178.
Figure 177 – The FBPS
Calculations Menu
A description of the inputs and outputs follows. In
parenthesis following each is the range of acceptable values.
Figure 178 – The FBPS Calculations Dialog
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
FBPS Fuel Model (1-13)
Enter the number of the FBPS fuel
model. Table 29 contains a list of
these fuel models.
1-h Fuel Moisture (1-60%)
The 1-hour timelag reference fuel
moisture can be estimated using the
air temperature and the relative
humidity.
10-h Fuel Moisture (1-60%)
It is suggested the 10-h fuel moisture
be set as 1% more than the 1-h fuel
moisture.
Table 29 – FBPS Fuel Models
Fuel Group
FBPS Fuel Model
1 - Short Grass (1 foot)
Grass
2 - Timber (Grass and understory)
3 - Tall Grass (2.5 feet)
4 – Chaparral
5 – Brush
Brush
6 - Dormant Brush
7 - Southern Rough
8 - Closed Timber Litter
Timber
9 - Hardwood (pine long needle litter)
Litter
10 - Timber
11 - Light Slash
Slash
12 - Medium Slash
13 - Heavy Slash
100-h Fuel Moisture (1-60%)
It is suggested the 100-h fuel moisture be set as 2% more than the 1-h fuel moisture.
Herb Fuel Moisture (30-300%)
Enter the moisture content of the grass and forb fuels.
Table 30 – Guidelines for Live Fuel Moisture
State of Vegetation Development
Fresh foliage, annual developing, early in growing cycle
Mature foliage, still maturing with full turgor
Mature foliage, new growth complete and comparable to older perennial
foliage
Entering dormancy, coloration started, some leaves may have dropped from
stem
Cured
Moisture
Content
300%
200%
100%
50%
30%
Woody (Shrub) Fuel Moisture (30-300%)
Enter the moisture content of the shrub fuels. See Table 30 for estimates of this value.
Foliar Moisture Content (30-200%)
The foliar moisture content is the percent of moisture in the foliage, needles, and leaves. In
PCHA, this value is held constant at 100% since there are no reliable methods to use current fuel
and weather inputs to model change throughout the year.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 117
20-ft. Wind Speed (0-99mph)
The wind speed is frequently taken at a National Fire Danger Rating System weather station.
The National Fire Weathers Observers Handbook provides the standards for gathering weather at
stations designated to provide data for the National Fire Danger Rating System (Deeming et. al,
1972). The wind speed measurement is taken at 20 feet above the vegetation and is measured
based on a 10-minute average. The wind speed values used should be the average expected
values for the projection period. Enter the 20-foot wind speed in the cell.
Canopy Base Height (1-299 feet)
For an individual tree, the measurement of the height to the base of the crown can be made. The
average of these values for all trees in a stand gives an estimate of the stand canopy base height.
Frequently, this is a measure of the point where the limbs of the canopy start vertically but the
number can be skewed by the presence of small trees or occasional live limbs. A more
meaningful value is the height above the ground of the first canopy layer where the density of the
crown mass within the layer is high enough to support vertical movement of a fire.
Canopy Bulk Density (kg/m3)
Mathematically, canopy bulk density (CBD) (kg/m3) is canopy biomass divided by the volume
occupied by crown fuels. Canopy bulk density is hard to estimate in the field. Initially, it seems
attractive to calculate this value by treating the canopy as a box with the depth the stand height
minus the canopy base height. Assuming this box covered an acre (43,560 ft2), dividing the fuel
loading in the canopy by the volume of box would provide an estimate of average canopy bulk
density. Unfortunately, this estimate has a bias toward underestimation of the canopy bulk
density due to the averaging of largely void areas in the top and bottom of the canopy with the
more dense layers of foliage. A fire burning vertically within the crowns will most likely
propagate through denser canopy layers.
To determine CBH and CBD values that are reasonable for the FPU, consult with fire behavior
specialists familiar with defining these values for use in the FARSITE program. Also consult the
publication Stereo Photo Guide for Estimating Canopy Fuel Characteristics in Conifer Stands
(Scott and Reinhardt 2005). A utility exists in PCHA (FPA>FBPS Calculations), which
calculates resultant fire behavior using all three attributes of a fuel type, and five attributes of a
topographic type.
Stand Height (5-300 feet)
For an individual tree, the measurement of the tree height made. The average of these values for
all trees in a stand gives an estimate of the stand height.
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Canopy Cover Percentage (0-100%)
Canopy cover is normally measured as a
percent. It is based on the linear length
of canopy versus the length of open
space. Canopy cover values are defined
via the categories shown in Table 31.
Table 31 – Definition of Canopy Cover Categories
Category
Range
Used in Calculations
0
0%
0%
1
1 – 20%
10%
2
21–50%
35%
3
51-80%
65%
4
81-100%
90%
Slope (0-100%)
The slope steepness is expressed in percent and equal to the number of feet of elevation change
per 100 feet of horizontal distance. The value is the steepness of the slope “straight uphill.”
Midflame Wind Speed
The midflame wind speed is the wind speed that exists at midflame height above the fuel bed.
Midflame is often called eye-level. Technically, midflame wind speed is the average wind speed
measured from the top of the fuel bed to the height of the flame above the fuel (Albini and
Baughman 1979).
Surface Rate of Spread (ch/hr)
Rate of spread is the “speed” the fire travels through the surface fuels. The rate of spread is the
spread rate of the head fire spreading uphill with the wind blowing straight uphill. The rate of
spread prediction uses the Rothermel (1972) surface fire spread model, which assumes the
weather, topography and fuels remain uniform for the elapsed time of the projection.
Surface Flame Length (feet)
Figure 179
This is the length of the flame in a spreading
surface fire within the flaming front. Flame length
is measured from midway in the combustion zone
to the average tip of the flames. “Flame length is
an elusive parameter that exists in the eye of the
beholder. It is a poor quantity to use in a scientific
or engineering sense, but it is so readily apparent
to fireline personnel and so readily conveys a
sense of fire intensity that it is worth featuring as a primary fire variable.” (Rothermel 1991)
Fire Type
There as three types of fires predicted:
•
•
•
Surface Fire
Passive Crown Fire
Active Crown Fire
Surface Fire
A surface fire is one that burns only in the surface fuelbed.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
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Passive Crown Fire
A passive crown fire is traditionally called “torching.” It is small scale, consuming single or
small groups of trees or bushes. This stage of a crown fire reinforces the spread of the fire, but
the main fire spread is still dependent upon surface fire behavior.
Active Crown Fire
An active crown fire is associated with a "pulsing" spread. The surface fire ignites crowns and
the fire spread is able to propagate through the canopy. After a distance, the crown fire weakens
due to a lack of reinforcing surface fire heat. When the surface fire catches up to where the
crown fire died, the surface fire intensity again initiates a crown fire “pulse.”
Final (Resultant) Rate of Spread
This is the final calculated fire spread rate. If the fire type is passive then the estimated fire
spread rate is the same as the surface fire behavior rate of spread. If the fire type is active, this
value is calculated as the crown rate of spread (Rothermel 1991). If the fire type is passive, this
value is scaled between the surface fire spread rate when passive crown starts and the maximum
crown rate of spread based on the crown fraction burned (Scott and Reinhart 2000).
Final (Resultant) Flame Length (feet)
This is the length of the flame based fire intensity. This intensity is calculated based on the fuel
consumption in the surface and aerial (canopy) fuels. The resultant flame length for a surface
fire type is the same as surface flame length. For a passive or active crown fire, the resultant
flame length will be longer due to the consumption of canopy fuels in addition to the surface
fuels.
Final (Resultant) Fire Intensity Level
For FPA, the Fire Intensity Level (FIL) is defined
using the flame length. Table 32 lists the
correlations between FIL and flame length. In
FPA, fire effects are defined by FIL.
Page 120
Table 32
Fire Intensity Level
1
2
3
4
5
6
Flame Length
0 – 2.0 feet
2.1 – 4.0 feet
4.1 – 6.0 feet
6.1 – 8.0 feet
8.1 – 12.0 feet
12.1+ feet
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Window
Figure 180 – The Window Menu
In PCHA, the user may have multiple windows
open at the same time. These commands allow the
user to rearrange these windows. The choices
include tiling or cascading the windows as well as
aligning the icons of minimized windows.
Cascade
This option tells PCHA to stack multiple windows
one atop one another if it is beneficial to have
more than one window open at a time.
Tile Horizontal
With the horizontal tile option, PCHA attempts to place windows side by side. This can be useful
as it allows the user to see information from different screens at the same time. The windows
tend to be tall and skinny.
Tile Vertical
Tile vertical puts multiple windows one above another. The windows are short and wide. This
option works for some windows, but is impossible to read for others.
Arrange Icons
If the user has multiple windows open but minimized, the icons for each minimized window are
arranged along the bottom of the screen.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
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NIFMID
February, 2004 enhancements to
PCHA now allow Forest Service
users to submit updated fire records
directly to NIFMID. See the section
under Utilities below.
Figure 181 – The Window Menu
Forest Service users of PCHA can
submit updates to existing fires and
manually-entered fires (prior to
1980) to the NIFMID database using
the features on the NIFMID Utilities
menu. This section is only
applicable to Forest Service use of
PCHA.
Prior to using any of the following items on the NIFMID menu, users must have Oracle drivers
installed, and must establish an entry in their tnsnames.ora file. It is beyond the scope of this
User Guide to describe how those steps are accomplished – check with your systems support
staff.
Update Organizations Table
Fires which have been manually
added into PCHA must have the
correct Administrative Unit attached
to them before they can be inserted
into the NIFMID database.
Figure 181 – The Window Menu
This menu item downloads to your
PCHA database a list of all Forest
Service Administrative Units and their
applicable start and end dates. You
will need to complete this step prior to
assigning Admin Units to your manual fires.
Figure 182
After selecting this menu item, if PCHA cannot login to the
NIFMID Oracle database, it will prompt you to provide the
information in Figure 182. Contact your systems support
staff if you are unsure of what information to enter:
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Once you have downloaded the
Administrative Units, you may
then assign an Administrative Unit
to each manually-entered fire.
Figure 182 contains the Events
Tab displayed when the Fires >
Edit Fires menu is selected.
Figure 183 – The Window Menu
For all manually entered Forest
Service fires discovered prior to
January 1, 1980, select the
appropriate Administrative Unit
for the time the date was
discovered.
Make sure you enter the Discovery Date prior to selecting the Admin Unit, since Admin Units
change from year to year.
Identify PCHA Edits By Comparing To .Raw File
In order to determine which fires
have either been manually entered
Figure 184 – The Window Menu
into PCHA (and were discovered
prior to 1980) or have been edited
since downloading from NIFMID,
PCHA compares fires in your
database to fires in the “PCHA
Format” .raw file exported from
NIFMID. You should prepare a
.raw file immediately before
submitting your updates to
NIFMID, so that the latest
NIFMID information is used for
the comparison.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
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PCHA will ask you to select the
appropriate .raw file, and click
Open. Once you click Open,
PCHA will complete the
comparison in order to identify
new or updated fire records. When
completed, PCHA will
automatically display the screen in
Figure 187.
Select and Send Updates
This program displays three lists
in one window, identifying your:
•
•
•
Figure 185
Figure 186
Fires With Updates
Fires To Add, and
Errors
The Fires With Updates Tab
(Figure 187) displays a list
showing all fires which have been
changed in PCHA. Select those
fires you wish to send to
NIFMID, or use the All button to
select them all. Then hit the Send Selected Updates
to NIFMID button. Doing so sends the updates across
the Internet to NIFMID, and automatically takes you to
the next menu item: FPA > Utilities > NFMID >
Retrieve NIFMID Status (Figure 188).
Page 124
Figure 187
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Retrieve NIFMID Status
This program logs in to
NIFMID and awaits results of
your attempts to send fire
updates and additions. Initially,
you will see that it is waiting in
a screen similar to the screen in
Figure 189.
Figure 188
Figure 189
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 125
After successful logon, PCHA will inform you of any of your fires which have been processed
by NIFMID and have results available (Figure 190).
Figure 190
Click on one of the fires showing Results and you will see feedback from NIFMID (Figure
191). In the case of the Frost Fire, updates were successful, but NIFMID also informed us that
there was no FIL and no County.
Figure 191
Page 126
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
NIFMID Update Summary
The steps Forest Service units can follow to update the NIFMID database are:
1.
Install Oracle drivers (contact system support)
2.
Update tnsnames.ora (contact system support)
3.
Update Organizations Table (Utilities-NIFMID menu)
4.
Assign Admin Unit to any pre-1980 manual fires (Fires-Edit Fires menu)
5.
Identify PCHA Edits by Comparing to .RAW file (Utilities-NIFMID menu)
6.
Select and Send Updates (automatically taken there from step 5, or use Utilities-NIFMID
menu)
7. Fix errors or omissions listed on the Errors tab.
8.
Retrieve NIFMID Status (automatically taken there from step 6, or use Utilities-NIFMID
menu)
9. Repeat steps 6-8 if needed in order to send New Fires.
Web-Based Topographic Attributes
This standalone utility allows for termination topographic
values for landscape point defined using latitude and
longitude. (Figure 193)
Figure 192 – The Help Menu
Figure 193
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 127
The Help Menu
Contents
Figure 194 – The Help Menu
Clicking on this menu will result in the online help system
being displayed.
About
This screen displays the version and release date of the
software.
Page 128
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
References
Albini, Frank A. 1976. Computer-based models of wildland fire behavior: a user's manual.
Ogden, Utah: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range
Experiment Station. 68 p.
Albini, Frank A. 1976. Estimating wildfire behavior and effects. General Technical Report
INT-30. Ogden, Utah: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and
Range Experiment Station. 92 p.
Albini, Frank A.; Baughman, Robert G. 1979. Estimating windspeeds for predicting wildland
fire behavior. USDA For. Ser. Res. Paper INT-221.12 p.
Alexander, M. E. 1988. Help with making crown fire hazard assessments. In: Protecting people
and homes from wildfire in the Interior West: Proceedings of the Symposium and Workshop.
USDA For. Serv. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-251, pages 147-153.
Anderson, Hal E. 1982. Aids to determining fuel models for estimating fire behavior. USDA
For. Serv. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-122, 20 p.
Anderson 1982
Bradshaw, Larry S.; Deeming, John E.; Burgan, Robert E.; Cohen, Jack D., compilers. 1984. The
1978 national fire-danger rating system: technical documentation. General Technical Report
INT-169. Ogden, Utah: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest
and Range Experiment Station. 44 p.
Burgan, Robert E. 1988. Revisions to the 1978 national fire-danger rating system. Research
Paper SE-273. Asheville, North Carolina: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. 39 p.
Byram, G. M. 1959. Combustion of forest fuels. In Forest fire control and use, p. 82. Kenneth P.
Davis, ed. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York.
Deeming, John E., Burgan, Robert E., and Cohen, Jack D. 1977. The national fire-danger rating
system-1978. General Technical Report INT-39. Ogden, Utah: U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 63 p.
Finney, Mark A. 1998. FARSITE: Fire Area Simulator -- model development and evaluation.
USDA Forest Service, Research Paper RMRS-4, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Ft. Collins,
CO. 45p.
Furman, R. William; and Brink, Glen E. 1975. The national fire weather data library: what it is
and how to use it. General Technical Report RM-19. Fort Collins, Colorado: U.S. Department of
Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest Experiment Station. 8 p.
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 129
Keane, Robert E., Janice L. Garner, Kirsten M. Schmidt, Donald G. Long, James P. Menakis and
Mark A Finney. 1998. Development og Input Data Layers fort he FARSITE Fire Growth Model
for the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Complex, USA. USDA For. Serv. Gen. Tech.
Rep.RMRS-GTR-3. 66 p.
Main, William A.; Paananen, Donna M., and Burgan, Robert E. 1990. FIREFAMILY 1988.
General Technical Report NC-138. St. Paul, Minnesota: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest
Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 31 p.
Rothermel, Richard C. 1972. A mathematical model for predicting fire spread in wildland fuels.
Research Paper INT-115. Ogden Utah: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
Intermountain Forest and Range Experimental Station. 40 p.
Rothermel, Richard C. 1991. Predicting behavior and size of crown fires in the northern Ricky
Mountains. USDA For. Serv. Res. Pap. RP-INT-438, 46 p.
Scott, Joe H. and Elizabeth D. Reinhart 2000. Assessing Crown Fire Potential by Linking
Models of Surface and Crown Fire Behavior. USDA For. Serv. Res. Pap. RMRS-RP-29, 59 p.
Scott, Joe H. and Elizabeth D. Reinhart 2005. Stereo Photo Guide for Estimating Canopy Fuel
Characteristics in Conifer Stands. USDA For. Serv. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-145, 49 p.
Yancik. Richard F.; and Roussopoulos, Peter J. 1982. User's guide to the national fire occurrence
data library. Fort Collins, Colorado: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky
Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 25 p.
US Forest Service, 1995. KCFAST user's guide. Boise, Idaho: U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Forest Service, Fire and Aviation Management Staff. 156 p.
US Forest Service, 1995. Weather information management system (WIMS) user's guide. Boise,
Idaho: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Fire and Aviation Management Staff.
80+ p.
Van Wagner, C. E. 1977. Conditions for the start and spread of crown fire. Canadian Journal of
Forest Research 7:23-34.
Van Wagner, C. E. 1993. Prediction of crown fire behavior in two stands of jack pine. Canadian
Journal of Forest Research 23:442-449
Page 130
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Appendix A
Forest Service PCHA Report Format
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 131
Page 132
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Forest Service PCHA Report Format
File names look like (PCHArrff.RAW) where rrff are the FS region and forest identified on the
Planning Unit Setup screen. The file extension must be RAW.
Table 33
Item
Field Name
No.
1
Reporting FS Region
2
Reporting FS Unit
3
Fire Number
4
District
5
Statistical Cause
6
General Cause
7
Specific Cause
8
Class of People
9
Fire Size Class
10
Total Acres Burned
11
FS Area Burned
12
Non-FS, FS Prot Acres Burned
13
Non-FS Acres Burned
14
Vegetation Cover Type
15
NFMAS Aspect
16
Topography Code
17
Fire Management Zone (60 usually blank)
18
Weather Station
19
NFDRS Fuel Model
20
Fire Intensity Level (FIL)
21
Fire Intensity Source
22
Latitude (DDMMSS)
23
Longitude (DDMMSS)
24
Township
25
Range
26
Section
27
Subsection
28
Principal Meridian
29
Slope Percent
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Field Width
1-2
3-4
5-7
8-9
10
11
12-13
14
15
16-24
25-33
34-42
43-51
52-53
54
55
56-60
61-66
67
68
69-70
71-76
77-83
84-88
89-93
94-95
96-99
100-101
102-104
Example
5
16
23
52
1
0
1
0
B
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
41523
G
2
FR
360200
1190612
Page 133
Table 33
Item
Field Name
No.
30
Aspect Code
31
Elevation
32
State
33
County
34
Protection Agency
35
Ownership at Origin
36
Prescribed Fire
37
Escaped Fire
38
Initial Suppression Strategy
39
Fire Cost in Dollars
40
Ignition Date
41
Ignition Time
42
Discovery Date
43
Discovery Time
44
First Action Date
45
First Action Time
46
Second Action Date
47
Second Action Time
48
Declared Wildfire Date
49
Declared Wildfire Time
50
Fire Contained Date
51
Fire Contained Time
52
Fire Controlled Date
53
Fire Controlled Time
54
Fire Out Date
55
Fire Out Time
56
Fire Name
57
Fire ID
58
Fire Account (PCode)
59
Wilderness
Page 134
Field Width
105
106-110
111-112
113-115
116-118
119
120
121
122
123-131
132-139
140-143
144-151
152-155
156-163
164-167
168-175
176-179
180-187
188-191
192-199
200-203
204-211
212-215
216-223
224-227
228-247
248-254
255-259
260-262
Example
CA
Y/N
Y/N
19900714
Lost Loop
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Appendix B
Department of Interior DI-1202 Format
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 135
Page 136
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
File names on the FAMWEB site look like flnfmas2!rrff!1950!2002.raw. where rrff are the FS
region and forest identified on the Planning Unit Setup screen. The file extension must be RAW.
Table 34 – DI-1202 Fire Record Format
Item
No.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
Item
UNIT ID
CALENDAR YEAR
FIRE NUMBER
FIRE TYPE
GENERAL CAUSE
SPECIFIC CAUSE
PEOPLE
NET CHANGE
FIRE NAME
AREA NAME
LATITUDE
LONGITUDE
COST CODE
OWNER
FISCAL YEAR
AGENCY FISCAL DATA 1
AGENCY FISCAL DATA 2
PROBLEM CLASS
TOWNSHIP
RANGE
SECTION
MERIDIAN
UTM ZONE
UTM EASTERN
UTM NORTHERN
DATE DISCOVERED
TIME DISCOVERED
TYPE DISCOVERED
ACRES DISCOVERED
DATE INIT ATTACK
TIME INIT ATTACK
TYPE INIT ATTACK 1
TYPE INIT ATTACK 2
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Width
8
4
4
2
1
2
1
8
10
4
6
7
1
1
2
11
11
1
4
4
2
2
2
6
7
6
4
1
7
6
4
1
1
Start Stop
Col. Col.
1
10
15
20
23
25
28
30
39
50
55
62
70
72
74
77
89
101
103
108
113
116
119
122
129
137
144
149
151
159
166
171
173
8
13
18
21
23
26
28
37
48
53
60
68
70
72
75
87
99
101
106
111
114
117
120
127
135
142
147
149
157
164
169
171
173
Number
of
Decimals
2
2
1
Type
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
Page 137
Table 34 – DI-1202 Fire Record Format
Item
No.
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
Page 138
Item
TYPE INIT ATTACK 3
TYPE INIT ATTACK 4
TYPE INIT ATTACK 5
AMOUNT INIT ATTACK 1
AMOUNT INIT ATTACK 2
AMOUNT INIT ATTACK 3
AMOUNT INIT ATTACK 4
AMOUNT INIT ATTACK 5
ACRES INIT ATTACK
DATE CONTROLLED
TIME CONTROLLED
ACRES CONTROLLED
DATE DECLARED OUT
TOPOGRAPHY
ASPECT
SLOPE
ELEVATION
NFDRS STATION
NFDRS FUEL STATION
BEHAVIOR
BURN INDEX
ADJ CLASS
RVC
FORM OF HEAT
CERTAINTY
EQUIPMENT INVOLVED
MATERIAL INVOLVED
IGNITION FACTOR
CLASS PEOPLE
AGE
SEX
ACTIVITY INVOLVED
ESTIMATED DAMAGE
STATE
LAND OWNER
REF FIRE NBR
Start Stop
Width
Col. Col.
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
7
6
4
7
6
1
1
1
1
6
4
1
3
1
1
2
1
3
2
2
1
1
1
2
7
2
1
4
175
177
179
181
184
187
190
193
196
204
211
216
224
231
233
235
237
239
246
251
253
257
259
261
264
266
270
273
276
278
280
282
285
293
296
298
175
177
179
182
185
188
191
194
202
209
214
222
229
231
233
235
237
244
249
251
255
257
259
262
264
268
271
274
276
278
280
283
291
294
296
301
Number
of
Decimals
1
1
Type
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Table 34 – DI-1202 Fire Record Format
Item
No.
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
Item
VEG. TYPE
ACRES
STATE
LAND OWNER
REF FIRE NBR
VEG. TYPE
ACRES
STATE
LAND OWNER
REF FIRE NBR
VEG. TYPE
ACRES
STATE
LAND OWNER
REF FIRE NBR
VEG. TYPE
ACRES
STATE
LAND OWNER
REF FIRE NBR
VEG. TYPE
ACRES
STATE
LAND OWNER
REF FIRE NBR
VEG. TYPE
ACRES
STATE
LAND OWNER
REF FIRE NBR
VEG. TYPE
ACRES
STATE
LAND OWNER
REF FIRE NBR
VEG. TYPE
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Start Stop
Width
Col. Col.
1
7
2
1
4
1
7
2
1
4
1
7
2
1
4
1
7
2
1
4
1
7
2
1
4
1
7
2
1
4
1
7
2
1
4
1
303
305
313
316
318
323
325
333
336
338
343
345
353
356
358
363
365
373
376
378
383
385
393
396
398
403
405
413
416
418
423
425
433
436
438
443
303
311
314
316
321
323
331
334
336
341
343
351
354
356
361
363
371
374
376
381
383
391
394
396
401
403
411
414
416
421
423
431
434
436
441
443
Number
of
Decimals
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
Type
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
Page 139
Table 34 – DI-1202 Fire Record Format
Item
No.
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
118
119
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
130
131
132
133
134
135
136
137
138
139
140
141
Page 140
Item
ACRES
UNIT NUMBERS
PLOT NUMBER
PLOT OBJECTIVE
FIRING STRATEGY
FIRING METHOD
COST PER ACRE
NFFL FUEL MODEL
TEMP MAX
TEMP MIN
REL. HUMIDITY MAX
REL. HUMIDITY MIN
WIND MAX
WIND MIN
FLAME MAX
FLAME MIN
ROS MAX
ROS MIN
NFFL FUEL MODEL
TEMP MAX
TEMP MIN
REL. HUMIDITY MAX
REL. HUMIDITY MIN
WIND MAX
WIND MIN
FLAME MAX
FLAME MIN
ROS MAX
ROS MIN
PREBURN TONS/ACRE
CONSUMPTION %
PREBURN TONS/ACRE
CONSUMPTION %
PREBURN TONS/ACRE
CONSUMPTION %
PREBURN TONS/ACRE
Start Stop
Width
Col. Col.
7
2
2
2
1
1
4
2
3
2
2
2
2
2
3
2
3
2
2
3
2
2
2
2
2
3
2
3
2
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
445
453
456
459
462
464
466
471
474
478
481
484
487
490
493
497
500
504
507
510
514
517
520
523
526
529
533
536
540
543
547
551
555
559
563
567
451
454
457
460
462
464
469
472
476
479
482
485
488
491
495
498
502
505
508
512
515
518
521
524
527
531
534
538
541
545
549
553
557
561
565
569
Number
of
Decimals
1
2
NUM
1
1
1
1
Type
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
ERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Table 34 – DI-1202 Fire Record Format
Item
No.
Item
142
143
144
145
146
147
148
149
150
151
152
153
154
155
156
157
158
159
160
161
162
163
164
CONSUMPTION %
PREBURN TONS/ACRE
CONSUMPTION %
PREBURN TONS/ACRE
CONSUMPTION %
FIRE ESCAPE
ESCAPE FIRE NUMBER
DAY OF WEEK STARTED
WAS FIRE INVESTIGATED
WAS SUSPECT KNOWN
TYPE OF SUSPECT
REF PROJECT NUMBER
PNF COMPLEX ESCAPE
PNF COMPLEX VALUES
PNF COMPLEX FUELS
PNF COMPLEX DURATION
PNF COMPLEX AIR QUALITY
SUBMITTED NAME
SUBMITTED TITLE
SUBMITTED DATE
APPROVED NAME
APPROVED TITLE
APPROVED DATE
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Start Stop
Width
Col. Col.
3
3
3
3
3
3
1
1
1
1
6
1
1
1
1
1
30
30
6
30
30
6
571
575
579
583
587
591
592
596
598
600
602
604
611
613
615
617
619
621
652
683
690
721
752
573
577
581
585
589
590
594
596
598
600
602
609
611
613
615
617
619
650
681
688
719
750
757
Number
of
Decimals
1
1
1
1
Type
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
CHARACTER
CHARACTER
NUMERIC
Page 141
Page 142
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Appendix C
Weather .fwx File Format
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 143
Page 144
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
This file is also known as a "short obs" file. Weather observations must use the naming
convention (WXnnnnnn.FWX) where nnnnnn is the weather station number. The prefix letters
WX are optional. The file extension must be FWX.
Table 35 – Weather fwx File Format
Item
Item
No.
1
Weather Station Number
2
Observation Date (YYMMDD)
3
State of Weather Code
4
Dry Bulb Temperature
5
Relative Humidity (Percent)
6
blank
7
Herbaceous Vegetation Condition
8
Human-caused Risk
9
Wind Direction
10 Wind speed (mph)
11 blank
12 10-Hour timelag fuel moisture
13 blank
14 Maximum temperature (1F)
15 Minimum temperature (1F)
16 Maximum relative humidity (percent)
17 Minimum relative humidity (percent)
18 blank
19 Precipitation duration (hours)
20 Precipitation amount (inches nn.nn)
21 Lightning Activity Level
22 RH indicator (2)
23 blank
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Column
Width
1-6
7-12
13
14-16
17-19
20-22
23-24
25-27
28
29-31
32
33-35
36-38
39-41
42-44
45-47
48-50
51
52-53
54-57
58-60
61
62-80
Page 145
Page 146
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Appendix D
Weather Observation Data Transfer Format 1998 (.fw9)
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 147
Page 148
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Weather Observation Data Transfer Format 1998 (.fw9)
New data format adopted in May of 1998 intended to replace the Short weather observation file
format.(.FWX). This format attempts to meet current and future needs and to remedy the
shortcomings of the 1972 format.
Table 36 – Weather .fw9 File Format
Item
Column
Item
No.
Width
Record type (W98). All records begin with this record type identifier
1
01-03
code
2
04-09
Station Number
3
10-17
Observation date (YYYYMMDD)
4
18-21
Observation time (0000-2359)
Observation type (O=NFDRS, R=Raws other than at the standard
5
22
NFDRS observation time, F=Forecast, X=Other)
6
23
State of weather code
Dry bulb temperature (degrees Fahrenheit or degrees Celsius based on
7
24-26
Measurement Type code
Atmospheric moisture (wet bulb temperature, relative humidity
8
27-29
(percent), or dew point temperature based on Moisture Type code
Wind direction azimuth measured from true north; 0 (zero) means no
9
30-32
wind direction, 360 is north
Average wind speed over a ten-minute period (miles or kilometers per
10
33-35
hour based on Measurement Type code
11
36-37
Measured 10-hour time lag fuel moisture
Maximum Temperature (degrees Fahrenheit or degrees Celsius base on
12
38-40
Measurement Type code
Minimum Temperature (degrees Fahrenheit or degrees Celsius base on
13
41-43
Measurement Type code
14
44-46
Maximum relative humidity (percent)
15
47-49
Minimum relative humidity (percent)
16
50-51
Precipitation duration (hours)
Precipitation amount based on Measurement Type code [col. 63].
Blanks=no precipitation. US measurement: inches with implied decimal
17
52-56
nn.nnn format; trace shown as 00005. Metric measurement: in
millimeters, no implied decimal; trace shown as 00001
18
57
Wet flag (Y/N)
19
58-59
Herbaceous greenness factor (0-20)
20
60-61
Shrub greenness factor (0-20)
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 149
Table 36 – Weather .fw9 File Format
Item
Item
No.
21
Moisture Type code (1=Wet Bulb, 2=Relative humidity,3=Dew point)
Measurement Type code (1=U.S., 2=Metric, Affects temperature
22
(Fahrenheit or Celsius), wind (miles or kilometers per hour), and
precipitation (decimal inches or millimeters))
23
Season code (1=Winter, 2=Spring, 3=Summer, 4=Fall)
24
Solar radiation (watts per square meter)
Page 150
Column
Width
62
63
64
65-68
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
Appendix E
GIS Formats
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Page 151
Page 152
PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
GIS 1
The format for the GIS 1 file is in Table 34.
Table 37
Item
Item
No.
1
PCHA ID
2
PCHA latitude
3
PCHA longitude
Field
Type
N
N
N
Example
23
35.1225
118.334
GIS 2
GIS type 2 output uses the naming convention (GISxxxxx.xxx) where xxxxx is .... Fields are
comma delimited (separated by a comma) in the order listed below. Alpha fields (A) are
enclosed within quotes (“”).
Table 38
Item
Item
No.
1
PCHA ID
2
Fire number
3
Fire name
4
Discovery date
5
Discovery year
6
Discovery month
7
Discovery day in month
8
Julian day number
9
Weekday
10
PCHA latitude
11
PCHA longitude
12
Statistical cause
13
Total acres burned
14
FMZ
15
Representative location
16
NFDRS fuel model
PCHA 1.2 Users’ Guide – 03/20/2005
Field
Type
N
A
A
D
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
A
N
A
Example
23
49
Lost Loop
7/4/1985
1985
7
4
185
3
35.1225
118.334
1
0.3
0A
1
G
Page 153
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PCHA User’s Guide – 03/20/2005
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