Fuel Manager

A vegetation assessment and manipulation platform for wildland fire modelling

Fuel Manager Fire management requires the consideration of vegetation as a potential fuel, not only from the botanists’ point of view. Forest managers like to determine the consequences of silvicultural and fuel treatments on potential fire risk. The National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) in Avignon, France, have developed a European fuel and fire effects assessment system to make it possible to analyse the relationships between vegetation characteristics, fire behaviour and post-fire impact on vegetation.

Product's leader

Eric Rigolot, INRA
Eric Rigolot
Researcher INRA
Coordinator Fire Paradox project

Who will be interested in this product and why?

First of all, I see the Fuel Manager software as a tool developed for forest managers, interested to test the effects of management activities and fuel reduction options and to assess post-treatment fire behaviour.
It has already been used by our team as a research facility to analyse the effects of vegetation characteristics on fire propagation.
Fuel Manager can also be a powerful educational tool, which can be used in the classroom environment or in distance-delivered courses on the internet.

What are the innovative features?

Our team has designed the Fuel Manager programme to enable the input of fuel files for simulation, based on the principles of physics and laws. It furthermore interacts remotely with the European database on vegetation fuels representing a wide range of fuel types. The whole chain will make it possible to test effects of any change in vegetation structure and composition within a range of fire intensity and fire behaviour.

How does it serve the European cause with respect to the philosophy of Fire Paradox?

I am particularly proud of the adapter we have jointly developed with the WSL team in Belunzona, Italy, between the Fuel Manager and the European Database on European fuel types.
As you know, Fire Paradox promotes the increased use of fuel reduction measures to decrease fuel loading in our Mediterranean forests.
Prescribed burning application changes fuel structure by mainly consuming fine fuels such as small twigs and leaves in the forest understorey, making it difficult for a wildfire to spread during the summer – following burning – application. The Fuel Manager is a key tool to represent vegetation changes after prescribed burning, which can also be used effectively to prepare experimental burns, to illustrate its effectiveness.

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General objectives

Fire Paradox Fuel Manager is a key application in the fire modeling process with the following major objectives:

- to generate vegetation scenes in 3D to be used as input data for fire behaviour;
- to allow analysis of fire effects visualisation on shrubs and trees;
- to visualise post fire vegetation coupled with plant growth model.

Innovative aspects

3D spatial distribution of plants can now be considered in the new fire models. Likewise, the thermal, physical and chemical properties of any plant elements can be constructed. Fuel Manager is a powerful software enabling representation of any vegetation community in the landscape in a user-friendly manner, simultaneously integrating the required attributes for running complex fire simulation in the background.

It can be installed locally on a PC and connects automatically to a remote database on vegetation fuels. It has also been developed on a tree growth and forest stand dynamics modeling platform, entailing simulation of vegetation growth with and without fire events.

Major results

The new features which have been implemented recently were:

- the implementation of the adapter linking the Fuel Manager and the EuroForestFuel data base,
- the improvement of the mechanisms for creating and manipulating a vegetation community,
- the development of the system exporting data for fire simulations,
- the visualisation of post fire impacts on vegetation.

Fuel Manager Screenshot

Fuel Manager scene editor
Fuel Manager scene editor

FireTec modelisation
FireTec modelisation

Visualisation of fire impacts on trees
Visualisation of fire impacts on trees

Fuel Manager

Fuel Manager - http//www.fireparadox.org

Online Multimedia Plateform : Prototype