‘Giga Fire’ project aims to map California’s wildfire fuels

Fire has always been a natural part of California’s ecosystems. But the historical failure of forest management combined with climate change and human activity has contributed to larger and more destructive fires in recent years. The largest of these fires are called “giga fires” that burn at least 1 million acres. Fire officials have also recently banned any fire larger than 100,000 acres from a “megafire.” To stop the next big fire, Cal Fire is teaming up with the California Air Resources Board and a team of scientists at the University of Nevada at Reno. The aim is to optimize forest management programs through the “Giga Fire Project”. Jonathan Greenberg is one of the lead researchers on the project at UNR. He said the name “Giga Fire” was a nod to the growing risk of major wildfires as well as the type of technology being used. – We do some field data in the environment of “big data computing”, said Greenberg. All of that big data is used to create detailed maps of wildfires across the state of California. That information is loaded into supercomputers, which use trained artificial intelligence software to predict how all those fuels may evolve over the next year, decade and even century. Erin Hanan is another lead scientist with the Gia Fire project. He said the models they created would allow scientists and land managers to explore a lot of the “what ifs” that come up with planning for temperate burns and other forest management strategies. We know the scale of the treatments that are being done now. At what scale do we need to deal with it in the future and how should the resources be distributed in the future to deal with the growing climate problem and the growing wildfire problem,” Hanan said. Data from the Giga Fire project by the Col. California Air Resources Board to optimize forest management plans. combined they provide more than $2 million in grant funding for research.” All of these grants are funded by copper investments in California. So it all means less greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kevin Welch, senior environmental scientist with Cal Fire. Welch says this major investment could help Cal Fire and other agencies work to protect air and water quality. His role with Cal Fire involves evaluating the benefits and control the cost of burning. Ideally, efforts to control the potential potential for pre-emptive fires, also by preserving large carbon stores such as large trees. is,” says Welch. “We also integrate other benefits such as water protection, fire safety, prevention, cultural heritage sites.” He says that striking a balance in burning control is critical in changing the future of wildfires in the West. “We are up to it. climate, fire, and forests are at the core here in California, and Cal Fire is doing its best to really address those three at the same time,” Welch said.

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Fire has always been a natural part of the California ecosystem. Historical forest management combined with climate change and human activity has contributed to larger and more destructive fires in recent years.

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The largest of these are called “giga” fires, which burn at least 1 million acres. Fire officials have also recently classified any fire larger than 100,000 acres a “megafire.”

To prevent the next big fire, Cal Fire joins the California Resources Board and a team of scientists at the University of Nevada, Reno. The aim is to optimize forest management programs through the “Giga Fire Project”.

Jonathan Greenberg is one of the lead researchers in the project at UNR. He said the name “Giga Fire” is a nod to the growing dangers of major fires as well as the utility of technology.

“We bring a lot of advanced technology including modeling, machine learning, remote sensing — we’re doing something in a field characterized by a ‘big data’ computational environment,” Greenberg said.

All of that big data is used to create detailed firefighting maps for every state in California. That information is loaded into supercomputers, which use trained artificial intelligence software to predict how all of those fuels may evolve over the next year, decade and even century.

Erin Hanan is another lead scientist with the Gia Fire project. He said the models they created would allow scientists and land managers to explore a lot of the “what ifs” that come up with planning for temperate burns and other forest management strategies.

“We know the range of treatments that are being done now. At what scale we need to treat them in the future and how in the future resources should be allocated to deal with the growing problem of climate change and the increasing fire problems.” said Anan.

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Data from the Giga Fire project will be used by Cal Fire and the California Air Resources Board to optimize forest management plans. The two organizations are providing more than $2 million in grant funding for the research.

“These grants are all funded by the investment of air in California. So it all means reduced greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kevin Welch, senior environmental scientist with Cal Fire.

Welch says this major investment could help Cal Fire and other agencies work to protect air and water quality. His role with Cal Fire involved evaluating the benefits and costs of controlled burns. Ideally, efforts should be made to limit the potential for ex-submergence in wildfires, while also conserving large carbon stores such as large trees.

“We’re creating a negotiated response from which we can make the best and most efficient plans where the forest is,” says Welch. “We also have other coherent benefits such as water protection, fire safety, prevention, cultural heritage sites.”

He says a significant balance in burning control is critical in changing the future of fire burning in the West.

“We’re at the crossroads of climate, fire and forests here in California, and Cal Fire’s best efforts can really address those three together,” Welch said.

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