Work on the ConE-supported project started in June 2014 through a summer internship by Warren Porter (AMOSC, supervised by Kayo Ide and Arnaud Trouvé). In Fall 2014, the project was staffed on a more permanent basis by PhD students Cong Zhang (FPE, supervised by Arnaud Trouvé) and Wei Tang (FPE, supervised by Michael Gollner). In Fall 2014, the project also benefitted from the internship of Mickaël Durand (French National Meteorological School, supervised by Arnaud Trouvé). In Spring 2015, the project team was expanded to include MS student Maria Theodori (FPE, supervised by Arnaud Trouvé) as well as undergraduate students Ann Michelle Bolabo and Rachelle Beanlands and faculty research assistant Jamal West (GEOG, supervised by Evan Ellicott).

Initial work was aimed at installing the data-driven wildfire spread model called EnKF-FIREFLY on the UMD Linux cluster Deepthought2. (EnKF-FIREFLY was previously developed by Mélanie Rochoux and Sophie Ricci at CERFACS in France through a collaboration with Arnaud Trouvé.) Current work is aimed at applying EnKF-FIREFLY to a new validation study corresponding to a controlled prescribed fire experiment called FireFlux. This work requires algorithm developments and an extension of EnKF-FIREFLY to the treatment of spatially-varying wildfire spread parameters. Current work is also aimed at incorporating FARSITE in our data-driven wildfire spread model (FARSITE is a widely-used wildland fire spread simulator developed by the U.S. Forest Service). Finally, work is also in progress to collect additional data from historical prescribed fires and wildland fires (e.g., the “Rim fire” and the “West Fork Complex Fire”) for use with our data-driven wildfire spread model.

In addition to this computational work, Evan Ellicott and Michael Gollner have been performing preliminary experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of remote infrared fire detectors. These laboratory-scale experiments provide fundamental information on the fire radiative power (FRP), a metric for fire intensity, as well as data for calibration of the FRP method for field studies. Field experiments coordinated with the U.S. Forest Service are ongoing and expand the laboratory work to larger scales and conditions that are more realistic. Acquisition of the FRP from tower-based radiometers, UAV (i.e. drone)-based radiometer, and satellite overpasses is coordinated with the ignition by USFS personnel to aid in cross-comparison of results from the various sensors and ultimately satellite validation. Correlation of the FRP method with emissions models may also be useful for prediction of smoke dispersion, with future experiments planned to address emissions from highly volatile (e.g. eucalyptus, chamise) fuels.

Furthermore, on a separate but related note, Michael Gollner and Arnaud Trouvé were the lead organizers of a NSF-sponsored workshop entitled “Towards Data-Driven Operational Wildfire Spread Modeling” that took place on January 12-13 2015 at the University of California San Diego (http://wifire.ucsd.edu/?q=content/wifire-2015-modeling-workshop). The workshop was focused on data-driven wildfire modeling and brought together key representatives of the wildfire research community, the geosciences community and the fire science community. All the UMD PIs of the ConE project (Ellicott, Gollner, Ide, Trouvé) participated to the workshop. A workshop report is being written and will be released soon.

The group has also been actively pursuing opportunities for continued funding. A plan has been developed to apply for potential calls from NASA, NOAA and NSF as soon as they become available, however applicable programs have not yet been released.

Finally, a website devoted to dissemination of work generated through the ConE project is under construction (http://cone.gollnerfire.com).

Student staff: Warrren Porter (PhD student, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, Summer 2014), Wei Tang (PhD student, Department of Fire Protection Engineering, current), Cong Zhang (PhD student, Department of Fire Protection Engineering, current), Mickaël Durand (unpaid French-institution-based intern, Sept. 2014-Jan. 2015), Maria Theodori (MS student, Department of Fire Protection Engineering, current), Ann Michelle Bolabo (BS student, Environmental Science and Technology), Rachelle Beanlands (BS student, Biological Sciences), Jamal West (FRA, Department of Geographical Sciences).


C., Zhang, M., Durand, W., Tang, M., Gollner, A., Trouvé, M.C., Rochoux, S., Ricci, B., Cuenot, J.-B., Filippi, C.B., Clements (2015) “Evaluation of a sensor-driven wildland fire spread modeling strategy using the FireFlux experiment,” 15th Intl. Conf. Numerical Combustion, Avignon, France.

I., Altintas, J., Block, R., de Callafon, D., Crawl, C., Cowart, A., Gupta, M.H., Nguyen, H.-W., Braun, J., Schulze, M., Gollner, A., Trouvé, L., Smarr (2015) “Towards an integrated cyberinfrastructure for scalable data-driven monitoring, dynamic prediction and resilience of wildfires,” Intl. Conf. Computational Science, Reykjavík, Iceland. Awarded the Best Workshop Paper Award.