Multi-disciplinary advancements necessary for better wildfire prediction and response

Jason C. Knievel
Research Applications Laboratory, NCAR
  2 August, 2pm

This presentation will summarize the urgent threat that certain kinds of wildfires pose to the US, then will review some of the multi-disciplinary advancements in research, development, and implementation necessary to mitigate that threat, focusing on prediction and response. Achieving these advancements will require major sustained efforts across multiple sectors of society and types of institutions. In some cases, considerable progress is being made at NCAR and other organizations. Examples include using artificial intelligence to improve observations of wildfire environments, fully coupled fire-atmosphere modeling at tactical scales, understanding and reducing uncertainty in such modeling, sub-seasonal and seasonal predictions of fire risk, and operational forecasts of smoke. In other cases, progress has been slower and the path forward is more challenging, such as in understanding and simulating the behavior and smoke emissions of fires in the wildland urban interface, implementing new transformational technologies for operational fire response, and comprehending the complexity and implications of compounding hazards such as coincident fires and heatwaves.

Speaker Bio:
Jason is the Deputy Director for Science in the National Security Applications Program of NCAR's Research Applications Laboratory. He earned a B.S. from The Pennsylvania State University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Colorado State University. Jason's interests include observing and simulating mesoscale and microscale weather over complex terrain, probabilistic weather prediction, wildfires, and technology transfer for decision support.