Fire Behavior Knowledge Base
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How It Works

The Fire Behaviour Knowledge Base (FBKB) is a collaborative project where the data found within is entered by fire experts from around the world. Anyone with internet access can enter and review the data in the FBKB.

The data structure of the FBKB consists of three levels: Site, Observations and Details.

A Site is a unique geographic area that defines the location of the fire. It does not describe any specific details (eg fuel complex) about the location other than the latitude and longitude.

A Site can have many Observations. For example on a wildfire, separate observations can be made over several days, or in a number of different fuel complexes around the perimeter.

Details pages describe the forest conditions prior to the fire and fire behaviour at the time of the observation. Details are specific to each observation. Overstory, Shrub, Ground Cover, Understory, Topography, Surface Fuel, Duff/Soil and Down and Dead are used to describe the fuels and environment. To describe fire behaviour, moisture content, observed daily weather, weather at time of the observation and observed behaviour are the categories of Details. Not all Details fields need to be recorded for any observation – a lot of the Details fields are there in case the information is available.

An Observation can only be associated with one Site.

The site designation allows users to look for the geographic location specific information – or for information about groups of observations. For example for many of the experimental fires conducted by the Canadian Forest Service were in (essentially) homogenous fuel complexes at each site. By reviewing information at the Sharpsand site, one could review the fuel complex and grouped weather and fire behavior observations. In the case of a wildfire site, one could review the collection of fuel complexes and fire observations associated with that site.

When someone searches for information about a specific fuel complex (eg Jack Pine with a Black Spruce understory) the search engine will find those Observations that match the search criteria. This may be a subset of the Observations associated with a Site, or the full collection of Observations for that Site; depending on the fuel complexes associated with that Site.

The FBKB can also be used to store and retrieve digital images, video and documents.

For a detailed explanation of the fields available, click here.