The state of California is statutorily required to map hazards to people and property for areas of the state that are under local and state fire protection responsibility. These Fire Hazard Severity Zones form the basis of a number of state and local fire safety regulations designed to reduce risks associated with wildland fires. In this seminar, we will discuss the process by with CAL FIRE is utilizing a 16-year, 2 km gridded hourly climate reanalysis to extract data describing localized severe weather profiles to inform both its wildland- and urban-submodels, and produce more accurate hazard zoning. In particular, the model utilizes cell-specific dry wind distributions that drive a firebrand transport model to estimate hazard in developed/urban landscapes where firebrand ignitions often dominate spread and house ignitions. Information regarding model development, review, and calibration will be discussed.
Wildland Fire Scientist
Fire and Resource Assessment Program
Dave Sapsis has 35 years of experience in the field of wildland fire science, beginning with seasonal work conducting prescribed fire for a variety of land management agencies and conducting basic research on live fuel combustion and assorted fire effects studies. He currently serves as Senior Fire Scientist and research program manager with CAL FIRE’s Fire and Resource Assessment Program. Dave serves as project lead on a number of land- and fire-management topics including wildfire hazard and risk assessment for strategic planning, Wildland-Urban Interface mapping, fuel and fire behavior modeling for strategic and tactical support, and impacts of land management activities on long-term forest health and carbon sequestration. In addition, Dave served from 2013 – 2018 as a technical advisor to the California Public Utilities Commission heading up the development of Fire Threat Maps for revised Fire Safety Regulations. Dave received his B. S. in Forestry from UC Berkeley, an M.S. in Fire Ecology from Oregon State University, and is a Ph.D candidate in Fire Science at UC Berkeley, overdue with finishing a dissertation.