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Landscape (lcp) Acquisition, Critique, & Editing (ACE)

Primary Reference

Stratton, Richard D. 2009. Guidebook on LANDFIRE fuels data acquisition, critique, modification, maintenance, and model calibration. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-220. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 54 p. (http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_gtr220.pdf )

LCP Data Sources

LANDFIRE Data Distribution Site: https://www.landfire.gov/viewer/

There are several versions of LANDFIRE data, including LCP files (2001, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014).  You can evaluate what is available in each version with its Version Comparison Table ( http://www.landfire.gov/version_comparison.php). There is no online tool for editing the files before download. Downloaded files may be requested in either the US Albers or the local UTM projection. 

Wildland Fire Decision Support System (WFDSS): http://wfdss.usgs.gov

Analysis tools in WFDSS (Basic, STFB, NTFB, and FSPro) include downloadable LCP files.  Users may edit the LCP files before download.  Downloaded files come with a custom Albers projection that may require some reprojection effort before combining with shapefiles in FARSITE and FLAMMAP analysis. LCP Critique reports are available alongside the LCP file.

Interagency Fuel Treatment Decision Support System (IFTDSS): https://iftdss.firenet.gov/iftdss/home

IFTDSS uses spatial analysis tools in support of Hazard Analysis, Prescribed Burn Planning, Risk Assessment, Fuels Treatment, and Fire Effects planning.  Primarily based on the FLAMMAP processor, analysis tools use LANDFIRE data, allowing the user to edit and download LCPs from their projects.

Other Data Sources

Following is a list of GIS layers for fuels critique, modifications, and model calibration

Wildland Fire/Treatment History

  • Burn severity layers
  • Fire progression layers
  • Fuel treatments
  • Prescribed fire perimeters
  • Wildfire perimeters


Ecological Considerations

  • Areas of critical environmental concern
  • Sensitive or critical wildlife habitat
  • Threatened, endangered, and sensitive (TES) flora and fauna habitat
  • Rivers and streams
  • Water bodies
  • Vegetation or cover-type classification

Socio-economic Considerations

  • Ownership & jurisdiction layer
  • Historical and recreational sites
  • Primary and secondary residences
  • Remote automated weather stations (RAWS)
  • Roads & Trails
  • Urban development


Other Base Layers

  • Aerial photos
  • Digital orthophoto quad (DOQ) or quarter quad (DOQQ)
  • Digital raster graph (DRG)

LCP Fuel Themes

Surface Fuel Model 

  • 13 original Fuel Models:

Anderson, H. E. 1982. Aids to determining fuel models for estimating fire behavior. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-122. Ogden, UT:  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 22 p. http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_int/int_gtr122.pdf 

  • 40 Standard Fuel Models: 

Scott, Joe H.; Burgan, Robert E. 2005. Standard fire behavior fuel models: a comprehensive set for use with Rothermel’s surface fire spread model. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-153. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 72 p. http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/9521

The following themes all relate to a forest canopy that affects midflame windspeed, spotting and crown fire potential.

Scott, Joe H.; Reinhardt, Elizabeth D.  2005.  Stereo photo guide for estimating canopy fuel characteristics in conifer stands.   Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-145. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 49 p.  

Canopy Cover (CC)

In percent, 0-100%, practical Maximum is 70% in most conifer fuel types

Canopy Height (CH or SH)

Units in Meters*10, divide by 10 to get actual height in meters

Canopy Base Height (CBH)

Units in Meters*10, divide by 10 to get actual height in meters

Canopy Bulk Density

Units in Kilograms/meter3*100, divide by 100 to get actual density

Nomenclature for Spatial Data Layers

LCP Critique

The LCP Critique report is an essential element in the calibration process. It can be obtained from the same WFDSS analysis landscape tab that the LCP was obtained from. Or, if the LCP is downloaded, it can be loaded in FLAMMAP and a critique can be generated from there.  There is a stand-alone version (LCPCritique) available at https://www.frames.gov/catalog/11606.

On the first page:

  • View the filename, latitude, cell resolution, and coordinate system in the header information to insure the file used is correct
  • View the Theme units, ranges, and value distributions to make sure that the lcp is valid and that there is no corrupted data.
  • Determine the important surface fuel models in the LCP.

As an example, this histogram shows that fuel models 183, 165, 102, and 122 are the primary surface fuels. 

Is that what you expect? What are the critical inputs for each of these fuel models? Are any of them dynamic?

Image & legend pages for each Theme

Some data problems can be identified visually here, such as vertical and horizontal lines in slope themes. The fuel model image can be reviewed by comparing mapped fuel models with areas that have had ground verification or high confidence classifications.

Theme Distributions for each Surface Fuel Models (in order by importance)

  • Evaluate the terrain theme ranges and distributions for elevation, slope, & aspect. Are these appropriate for the fuel model? How would you revise or adjust them? Consider whether the fuel model needs to be changed for certain terrain value combinations.
  • Canopy characteristics should be evaluated carefully to ensure that canopy cover (wind adjustment, fuel shading), tree heights (wind adjustment, spotting distance), and canopy base height (crown fire initiation), distributions make sense for the specific fuel model. 
  • Canopy bulk density (active crown fire propagation) values are not only related to the fuel model and canopy tree species, they also must be appropriately scaled for the crown fire propagation model used (surface fire control - Finney vs. crown fire control - Scott & Reinhardt; see crown fire topic in Section 5 (Fire Behavior).

Editing and Updating the Landscape (LCP) File

Any errors or necessary adjustments identified here should be included in landscape edits performed before the first analyses are conducted.

There are several means and tools for editing LCP files: