Workshops and Other Events


Optional pre- and post-conference workshops are being offered to provide small-group interaction with scientists and model developers around key fire behaviour and fire ecology topics. Workshops can be selected during conference registration.

WFC2016 workshops –

  • are each limited to 40 participants
  • are offered to WFC2016 attendees
  • cost $25 each in addition to registration costs
  • will be offered only once
  • will be held on Monday, 24 October and Friday 28 October (different workshops on different days)

The workshop selection is still being finalized, and additional information will be sent out to workshop registrants prior to the conference. At the present time, the following workshops are being offered:


Monday, 24 October:

Burn probability modeling with Burn P3 (1:00 pm - 3:00 pm)
Presented by Dr. Xianli Wang, Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service

The Burn-P3 model explicitly simulates the ignition and spread of several fires in a given year over a gridded landscape using the Prometheus fire growth engine, then repeats this for a large number (e.g. 10^4 to 10^6) of years (i.e. iterations). Burn probability is an estimate of fire frequency calculated as the number of times each pixel burned divided by the number of iterations. In the workshop, overview and structure of the model will be presented and methods of generating the principal inputs of Burn-P3 will be introduced. Application of Burn-P3 outputs in both research and practice will be discussed.

Overview of the new grass moisture model and its use in fire behaviour prediction (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm)
Presented by Dr. Mike Wotton, Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service

The standard Fine Fuel Moisture Code (FFMC) was developed for closed canopy (fully shaded) pine forests. It is well-known that exposed fuels such as grasses can dry much faster that similar litter fuels under a shaded canopy. In 2009 a moisture content model based on the structure of the FFMC was developed by the CFS and tested for open grasslands; this model was subsequently used as part of an exploration of fire behaviour on prescribed burns in southern Ontario tallgrass prairie. This research study lead to the recommendation of a new fire spread rate method for the tallgrass prairie fuel type; the standard FBP System O-1 model was found to have limited predictive power in this type. Methods for estimating moisture and behaviour with these two new models were released in 2010 as the “Yellow book”. This workshop will provide the opportunity to describe and discuss both the grass moisture model grass and fire behaviour model that were included in the Yellowbook.

Introduction to FuelCalcBC (3:00 - 5:00 pm)
Presented by Dana Hicks and Dr. Ed Korpela – BC Wildfire Service

This workshop will present an overview of the new FuelCalc BC program. BC is attempting to develop a companion program to the US FuelCalc by entering vegetation data from its inventory data. The program is designed to present fuel managers with tools for calculating fuel loading based on forest stand inventory data. With this simulated data fuel managers can see how prescribed treatments will affect the fuel loading and crown bulk density of the residual stand. With resulting values in a “treated” stand, fuel managers can use programs such as the Crown Fire Initiation System (CFIS) to calculate the resulting fire behaviour attributes such as type of fire (surface, passive or active crown fire) or probably of crown fire occurrence.

Using FOFEM to inform prescribed fire prescriptions (3:00 - 5:00 pm)
Presented by Duncan Lutes, USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station – Fire Modeling Institute, Missoula, MT, USA.

The First Order Fire Effects Model (FOFEM) was developed to help managers and planners determine appropriate burning prescriptions for prescribed fire. FOFEM estimates fuel consumption, emissions, soil heating and tree mortality. Model inputs for consumption, emission and soil heating are the fuel loading of duff, litter, herb, shrub, branch, foliage and down woody material. Default fuel loadings based on cover type are available. Tree mortality simulations require species, tree height, crown ratio and flame length or scorch height. FOFEM simulation can be run on one plot/stand at a time or in “batch” mode. Outputs include pre- and post-treatment conditions and percent change. While developed in the United States and currently using inputs and outputs in Imperial units, FOFEM may be useful for managers in Canada. The workshop is directed toward new users of FOFEM and will provide an overview of the model and example exercises.

Friday, 28 October:

Overview of CANFIRE (09:00 – 12:00)
Presented by Dr. Bill de Groot, Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service

The Canadian Fire Effects model (CanFIRE) is an integrated science-management extension model of the Next Generation CFFDRS. Using a quantitative dynamic fuel model, it calculates fire behaviour and emissions for all Canadian forest types. Overview and structure of the model will be presented. Current available software (desktop and web/mobile) will be used to demonstrate stand-level to landscape-level applications (e.g., fuel management, prescribed burn planning, wildfire suppression). Integration with existing fire management agency decision support systems will be discussed.

Fire & nature walk (10:00 – 15:00)
Presented by Dr. Ian Walker, Professor, Departments of Earth & Environmental Sciences and Biology, University of British Columbia – Okanagan.

This walk will offer an opportunity to view Okanagan flora, fauna and landscapes. Learn about the regions vegetation and climate history as well as anticipated future changes. Examine fire adaptation strategies and hear more about recent interface fires. Be sure to bring your hiking boots since some of the trails may be steep and primitive.

Ian specialises in paleoecology, but is also an avid local naturalist with broad interests including birds, botany and aquatic insects. Having lived in an interface area of Kelowna for 25 years, he has watched many fires, followed evacuations, and is ever conscious of the wildfire threat to Okanagan communities.

The event duration is estimated at 5 hours, including travel to/from the hotel and time for a lunch break; will likely involve ~2-3 hours of moderate trail-walking, with plenty of stops along the way.



  • **NEW** For those looking for something a little less technical, the Okanagan is famous for its vineyards, and wine tours are a fantastic way to experience the area. Although we couldn’t quite justify a wine tour as part of the program, you may want to try to squeeze in a tour before you leave the valley. The good people at Wicked Wine Tours have some availability on Friday October 28, and offer excellent value 3 hour tours: link (select desired booking date – Friday, Oct. 28, or whichever date you prefer).