Landscape Analysis (LA)

The Landscape Analysis is a unique advancement that enables planners and managers to demonstrate the relative value of fire planning alternatives. Using the LA, planners can test fuel treatment strategies across the landscape and estimate the relative value of each. The LA can assess and compare a variety of strategies including:

  • Alternative programs of fuel treatments (past and future)
  • Fire restoration
  • Alternative suppression strategies

The location of the treatments can be recommended by the planner or generated using STARFire’s fuel treatment optimization and prioritization functionality. STARFire’s core of fire-affected values and burn probabilities is leveraged in the LA. By knowing what is valuable to protect, or to improve, the LA module can show the improvement towards a desired management condition from implementing any or all of these actions. The LA generates summary metrics that identify the amount of valued improvement or movement to a desired fire management condition from each management alternative. The bar graph below shows the percentage improvement calculated in the LA for three planning scenarios:

  1. A low-level fuel treatment program
  2. A high-level fuel treatment program
  3. A high-level fuel treatment program and aggressive suppression program
Fuel Management alternatives and improvement graph

The LA assesses each treatment scenario relative to the current condition. In this sample scenario, the LA shows a five percent improvement to landscape from a low-level fuel treatment program. A high-level fuel treatment program improved the landscape by almost 20 percent and by combining this with an aggressive suppression program a 30 percent improvement was achieved. The LA’s ability to demonstrate the value of past treatments or proposed strategies can be essential for generating future funding, engaging collaborative efforts including community participation in fuel treatment programs and for validation of fuel treatment programs.