Publication Abstracts

Tanpipat et al. 2021, submitted

Tanpipat, V., K. Manomaiphiboon, R.D. Field, W.J. de Groot, P. Nhuchaiya, N. Jaroonrattanapak, C. Buaniam, and J. Yodcum, 2021: An operational fire danger rating system for Thailand and Lower Mekong Region: Development, utilization, and experiences. In Vegetation Fires and Pollution in Asia. K.P. Vadrevu, T. Ohara, and C. Justice, Eds. Springer, submitted.

This paper describes development, utilization, and experiences of implementing a fire danger rating forecast system for Thailand and Upper ASEAN, or the Lower Mekong River Region, which is referred to as "FR-Mek" (short for Fire Danger Rating System for Lower Mekong River Region). It was developed within the widely used framework of the Canadian Fire Danger Rating System which has been adopted in equatorial Southeast Asia. Following its development, it has been transferred to and officially operated since 2015 by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and since 2020 by Royal Forest Department. The system uses two fire primary danger indices: the FFMC (Fine Fuel Moisture Code) and FWI (Fire Weather Index), representing, respectively, how easy a fire would be ignited and how dangerous an ignited fire would be in terms of spread and intensity respectively. To adapt the system for the regional fire environment, fires over Upper ASEAN or the Lower Mekong River Region were studied using Terra/Aqua MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) active fire hotspots, and their relationship with fire weather was investigated. In doing so, fire hotspots were arranged as fire groups using a developed GIS-based geometric aggregation technique, in order to better represent fire occurrences and burned areas. Concisely speaking, the technique is to seek a pair of joint distance-time thresholds below which fires are considered spatially and temporally close and potentially grouped. The underlying rationale is that individual fires detected by satellites may occur from the same origin and should not be counted as different occurrences. Here, any fires found on the same day within 2 km from one another were combined as a fire group. The relationship between FFMC and total fire group count and that of FWI vs total burned area in the region were established by statistical fitting using nonlinear log-logistic functions. The FFMC and FWI were then calibrated to four fire danger levels from low to high. A suite of computer programs was developed as FR-Mek for a daily forecast operation. It is capable of forecasting fire danger at grid resolutions of 3-9 km over six days (current day and next five days). The daily FWI value is used to adjust FWI signs placed in front of forest fire suppression stations (currently, 305 stations) throughout Thailand. Beyond this direct public data sharing, more intensive operational use is still evolving. During the 2021 fire season its use has increased following a request from the Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment's; it has become a part of daily operation of forest fire, open burning and smoke haze control and management during the 2021 fire season for 17 northern provinces of Thailand.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Tanpipat, V. and Manomaiphiboon, K. and Field, R. D. and de Groot, W. J. and Nhuchaiya, P. and Jaroonrattanapak, N. and Buaniam, C. and Yodcum, J.},
  editor={Vadrevu, K. P. and Ohara, T. and Justice, C.},
  title={An operational fire danger rating system for Thailand and Lower Mekong Region: Development, utilization, and experiences},
  booktitle={Vegetation Fires and Pollution in Asia},
  note={Manuscript submitted for publication}

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RIS Citation

ID  - ta01200v
AU  - Tanpipat, V.
AU  - Manomaiphiboon, K.
AU  - Field, R. D.
AU  - de Groot, W. J.
AU  - Nhuchaiya, P.
AU  - Jaroonrattanapak, N.
AU  - Buaniam, C.
AU  - Yodcum, J.
ED  - Vadrevu, K. P.
ED  - Ohara, T.
ED  - Justice, C.
PY  - 2021
TI  - An operational fire danger rating system for Thailand and Lower Mekong Region: Development, utilization, and experiences
BT  - Vegetation Fires and Pollution in Asia
PB  - Springer
ER  -

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