- National Predictive Service Group (NPSG) -
Guests: Terry Marsha - NWCC – Fire Weather Meteorologist
Notetaker: Bonnie Bradshaw
Meeting Agenda Topics:
Pre-Meeting: Formatting of Notes
1. Introductions & Meeting Logistics – Gerry Day
on Action Items (pgs. 14 & 15
3. Project Funding Proposals – Tom Wordell
a) FY 2003 Report
b) FY 2004 Proposal Process
4. Potential Proposal by UC Berkeley Statistician Haiganoush Preisler – Tom Wordell
5. 2004 NPSG Funding and Project Status – Tom Wordell
6. Lessons Learned – 2003 Season – Gerry Day
7. Defining the Desired Future Condition of Predictive Services – Gerry Day
a) The “Big 3” Topics
· National Strategy for Predictive Services
· Standardized products
· User assessment and communications
9. Bin Items
a) National Coordinators/Predictive Services Meeting in Whitefish (discuss presentation)
b) 2004 meeting schedule
c) Bin Item: Potential Proposal by Haiganoush Prisler
10. Updates & Reports
a) Fire Weather Program Report (AWIPS) – Rick Ochoa
b) Intelligence Coordinators Report – Gwenan Poirier
c) PS/Fire Analysts Report – Tom Wordell
d) National Weather Service Report – Larry Van Bussum
e) State/NASF Report – Bill Plough
A. Organizational Leadership Diagram 1 pg
B. Decision Flow Chart 1 pg
C. The BIG 3 Topics 1 pg
D. FIRESCOPE Decision Process 2 pgs
E. Agenda Topic Request Form 1 pg
F. Proposal / Briefing Template 1 pg
G. PS Questionnaire Response Summary 10 pgs
H. Role of GACC FW Mets – RAWS Data 1 pg
J. OR/WA PS Area Map 1 pg
K. Dryness Level Data Sheet 1 pg
L. Group Vision & Mission Statement 1 pg
M. CDF Strategic Plan 29 pgs
N. FY-03/04 NPSG Project Funding Report 3 pgs
O. 2003 Nat’l. Season Assess. Wkshp. Report 24 pgs
P. Haiganoush’s data sheets 10 pgs
Q. BLM/FS NW Vision/Values (selected pg) 1 pg
R. Goal #5 sample 1 pg
S. Logistics information for
U. Fire Suppression Cost Prediction Model memo 2 pgs
V. Strategic Decision & Assessment Oversight Review 40 pgs
W. Completed Action Item Tracking Table 1 pg
X. Pending Action Item Tracking Table 2 pgs
An informal discussion was held prior to the beginning of the meeting regarding the format of the notes being taken for the meeting. Notes should reflect the following:
2. Meeting dates
3. Members present
4. Members absent
6. Note taker
7. Meeting agenda topics
8. Individual agenda items – Points of discussion and brainstorming ideas should be bulleted
under each agenda item
9. Decision, Lead, and Target Completion Date listed under each agenda item if necessary
10. Pending Action Item Tracking Table – Lists pending Action Items
11. Completed Action Item Tracking Table – Lists completed Action Items for historical
Decision: An original hard copy of the Notes will be kept by the Chair, with a copy of all handouts attached. The Notes will be published to the website following approval. The note taker will type up each day’s notes and have them ready for the group’s review the following morning.
Agenda Item: Report on Action Items (pgs. 14 & 15
Task 1 & 3 – Organizational Leadership Diagram and Decision Flow Chart
Neal Hitchcock distributed the Organizational Leadership Diagram (Exhibit A) and the Decision Flow Chart (Exhibit B) and explained that these are just drafts for the group’s review.
Refer Topic: Charts and Big 3 Topics will be discussed on Thursday.
Task 2 – Formats on Decision Documents and Topic Abstracts
Bill Plough distributed an example of a Decision Process
Decision: The Agenda Topic Request Form and Proposal/Briefing Paper were approved for use. Upon completion, this form should be forwarded to everyone in the group.
Task 4 – Develop and incorporate an NPSG link on the NICC Webpage
Tom Wordell showed the group the link to GACC Predictive Services Home Page from NICC webpage. Heath Hockenberry is maintaining the web page.
Decision: Rick Ochoa will replace Tom’s as the primary point of contact.
Task 5 – Consolidate Responses to Questionnaire
The Predictive Service Questionnaire Response Summary (Exhibit G) was referenced. Tom Wordell consolidated the responses and sent the draft out to the group in June. Gerry added the Big 3 Task column and cross referenced each line to a task.
Refer Topic: This will be used in the Big 3 Topics discussion on Thursday.
Task 6 – Short Paragraph on Each Item in the Potential Funding Needs Table
Refer Topic: This will be discussed in the Bin Item Session on Friday.
Task 7 – Develop an Issue Paper on Responsibilities of Assistant Fire Weather Manager at each GACC
Rick Ochoa distributed “Role of Geographic Area Fire Weather Meteorologist With Respect to RAWS Data Quality Oversight” (Exhibit H).
Decision: Rick Ochoa will present the responsibilities of the Assistant Fire Weather Manager with respect to RAWS Data on Quality Control at the December meeting in Whitefish, MT.
Task 8 – Rationale Terry Marsha developed for identifying PSA fire danger levels
Gerry Day handed out Terry Marsha’s Predicted 10-Day Large Fire Potential by Area (Exhibit I), WA/OR map (Exhibit J), and Dryness Levels Data Sheet (Exhibit K). Terry explained the handouts.
Decision: Gerry Day will
investigate posting an explanation of this product on the
Task 9 – Draft of vision and mission statement.
Rick distributed Group Vision and Mission Statement (Exhibit L). Gerry distributed several pages related to mission, vision, values and goals statements from a Strategic Plan for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) developed in 1994 (Exhibit M). He suggested using the CDF plan as a template for development of a Program Framework for Predictive Services.
Refer Topic: Vision and mission statements will be discussed on Thursday.
Agenda Item: Project Funding Proposals
Tom Wordell distributed the FY 2003 NPSG Funding and Project Status Report and the 2004 NPSG Funding and Project Status Report (Exhibit N).
Projects funded in FY-2003:
2003 National Seasonal Assessment Workshop
· Tom distributed the Final Report (Exhibit O). Report is available on the web at:
· Participants felt that it was a successful workshop.
· Many different people attended, i.e., Fuel Specialists, Predictive Services personnel.
· Most beneficial was cross-walking between rooms allowing for good dialogue between the different groups.
· Big drawback was not having an official note taker for the session.
· Notes just came out just 2-3 weeks ago.
Cheetah Version 2 – Update (Phase 1)
· Tom showed the Cheetah Program.
· Two sides to the program: 1) analysis of fire occurrences and episodes, and 2) analysis of resource needs.
· This program was designed to retrieve data quickly, but it is not a substitute for local area analysis using other programs such as PCHA, NFMAS, etc.
Version 1 of the program was based on FS
regional boundaries and is limited in areas such as
· Phase 1 of Version 2 has been initiated.
· A standard has been developed to import state data.
· Phase 1 will allow at Geographic Area personnel to import their own data.
· Cheetah allows analysis of cross year data (e.g. November through March) – other programs are limited in this ability.
· Completion date on Phase 1 is spring of 2004.
15-Day NFDRS Forecast Model
· Tom discussed this web-based product being developed by NICC, RMRS and CEFA.
· The web site shows standard ERC, actual ERC, and ERC anomalies.
· Fire danger can be projected 15 days out with this model using GFS gridded weather data.
· Tom thinks this is a worthwhile project that will help significantly with fire projections.
· This website is updated once a day.
· There needs to be a national model to project fire danger in a standardized format to show anomalies (departure from average conditions).
· The National Weather Service is making grids at 5 kilometers.
· This program should be used with other programs to get a general feel for the forecast.
· Gerry asked the question, “How do we validate this product”? Tom answered that funding from FY 2003 is being targeted exactly for that purpose.
· Once the validation phase is completed, NPSG will need to decide the next step.
· Neal suggested that this be constantly kept in front of the group for evaluation.
Projects Proposed for FY-2004 Funding:
Tom Wordell reviewed each project title, the estimated funding source, amounts required, and that status on each project.
· Funding for FY 2004 is $50,000 provided from USFS funds.
· Gerry suggested each GACC contribute $1,000 to fund the Intelligence Specialist Training.
Gerry asked why fire statistics project (to
develop an integrated fire database for all federal agencies) was not on the list. Tom Wordell gave the history and status on
this project. Basically, no one has
taken it on as a business project and it has been put off for years. A Fire Statistic Working Group was sanctioned
by NWCG and formed under the IRM Working Team last fall. They met, and came up with a report with
recommendations presented to NWCG in October in
Refer Topic: Group will make decisions on these items on Thursday.
Bin Item: Potential Proposal by Haiganoush Preisler, Statistician, UC Berkeley
Tom discussed Haiganoush Preisler’s paper. She is taking data month by month provided to her from NICC Intell and then she projects the number of acres burned along with a confidence level. Her projections are intended to predict fire season activity. Tom will contact Haiganoush to find out what support she would require in order to provide monthly outlooks during the fire season. (Tom did make contact and Haiganoush is willing to teach NICC Intell how to complete the analysis and projection she is doing. Funding is not required.)
Topic continuation: Potential Proposal by Haiganoush Preisler, Statistician, UC Berkeley
Tom Wordell continued the discussion from yesterday regarding Haiganoush’s data sheets (Exhibit P).
Tom spoke with Haiganoush, her comments include:
Tom suggested that a meeting be set up with Haiganoush and Krista Gebert, with the intent of using her knowledge to improve the effort Krista is undertaking to develop and improve a suppression cost prediction model for the DoI. The group discussed this subject at length. Product has to be evaluated as to the applicability to the dollar amount spent for developing this product. Gerry used the chart below to talk about how this might be evaluated.
Decision: Neal Hitchcock and Tom Wordell will pursue this with Haiganoush Preisler and Krista Gebert to possibly combine their efforts into one product.
Lead: Neal Hitchcock and Tom Wordell
Target Completion Date:
Agenda Item: 2004 NPSG Funding and Project Status
Projects which submitted requests for NPSG funding were discussed.
2004 National Seasonal Assessment Workshops (NSAW)
· Neal stated that this is a good investment for the group.
· Bill Plough stated that the States should investigate using Federal funds (Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act) for travel in order to attend this workshop. He will discuss this further with Don Artley.
· The Steering Group (Tom, Greg Garfin, and Tim Brown) generally decides attendees based upon nomination forms.
· Tom asked that some of this year’s unallocated funds be used to help people come to the workshop above the $10,000 already approved for this project.
· Tom explained that this is an operational workshop with specific expertise needs that needs a specific audience.
· Tom suggested that the GACC’s go to those who use the assessment information and have them make suggestions as to who should attend the workshop.
· Neal stated that the project nature of the workshop should bring new people into the mix and thus fresh input.
· Tom stated that bringing 30 people from both eastern GACCs to the last workshop has helped build relationships.
Decision: Group approved funding $10,000 for the workshop with an additional $5,000 (if necessary to help with travel costs). Steering Committee will determine split between the east and west session as needed.
Cheetah Version 2 - Update (Phase 2) - Fire Program Solutions
· Neal stated that this is a solid investment for the group.
· Phase 2 will develop a new Visual Basic interface on the new database structure that is being developed with NPSG funding for Phase 1.
· This final expenditure will bring closure to the project.
· Tom will initiate a task order for Phase 2 this winter. Completion date for Phase 2 is expected to be April 2004.
Decision: Group approved $20,000 for this project.
15 – Day NFDRS Forecast Model
· Tom stated money funded in FY 2003 should carry them through FY 2004.
· Emphasis will be on product validation.
· Tom noted that it is a better fit for the NPSG to evaluate and fund projects in phases.
Decision: Group denied funding for FY-2004.
Climate Variability Workshop
· $8,000 is to support the workshop sponsor (Tim Brown, DRI) for time, facilities, travel, and per diem for climate forecasters and course development.
· If the workshop is scheduled for the fall, it might be possible to use FY 2005 money.
· Tom stated that another workshop in FY 2004 might be stretching schedule as two other workshops are already planned for this year. It takes a lot of time and effort to put these workshops together.
· Gerry asked what money is needed to get this going for FY 2005.
· Tom suggested that this workshop could possibly be combined with the National Seasonal Assessment Workshop. Bring people in a day early. Development costs would only be needed for this year.
· Gerry proposed that funding this year be used for development.
Rick suggested it happen at the
· Gerry suggested there may be an opportunity to get each of the GACC Managers to support the workshop with $1,000 in FY 2005.
· Recommendation: Fund $3,000 for FY 2004 to develop material and venue. Combine with Spring FY 2005 National Seasonal Assessment Workshop.
Decision: Group approved $3,000 for development of this workshop.
Intelligence Specialist Training Development
· NPSG supports this project, however the funding request for $10,000 is denied. The suggestion was made to request funding from each GACC.
· At the Center Managers meeting in Whitefish, Gerry will request that GACC Managers commit $1,000 each year for the next three years to course development.
· Tom suggested asking each of the Center Managers to set aside several thousand each year for Predictive Services projects, this being one of them, instead of $1,000 here and $1,000 there.
· Gerry will propose this item ($1,000) and then propose each GACC plan on $5,000 a year for other Predictive Services projects that may be pooled for shared projects.
Decision: Group supports this project, but denied funding. Gerry will make a proposal to the Center Managers at the Whitefish meeting to support this project by contributing $1,000 each of the next three years. He will further propose that they plan to budget $5,000 each year for Predictive Services projects (the Intelligence Specialist training project included in this amount) so that money can be pooled.
Lead: Gerry Day
Target Completion Date: December 2003
Scripps CAP Seasonal Wildfire Forecast
Decision: Group denied FY 2004 funding. Tom Wordell will prepare a letter from the group to Tony Westerling (Scripps Institute), stating support for the project and suggesting that he submit a JFSP proposal under the current AP for tech transfer.
Lead: Tom Wordell
(Note: Tom spoke with Tony in
· Gerry stated this product has great applicability across a broad range of wildland fire users and recommended NPSG forward a letter of support to the project leaders.
· It was noted that users need to convey the need and benefits they derive from this application to Fire Managers/Directorate.
· Rick will draft a letter stating the group’s support of this project. Gerry stated that the letter should also stress the need for tech transfer to be better addressed and that NPSG is not the appropriate source for funding. Letter should be sent to Randy Hart and Tim Mattewson.
Decision: Group denied funding. Rick will draft a letter stating the group’s support for the project, but deny funding because NPSG is not the appropriate source for funding. The letter will further address the tech transfer issue.
Lead: Rick Ochoa
Recap of Final Approved Funding:
$10,000 National Seasonal Assessment Workshops
$ 5,000 National Seasonal Assessment Workshops (if necessary for travel)
$ 3,000 Climate Variability Workshop
· Rick Ochoa asked about when unexpected money is available at the end of the fiscal year. Where do we apply this money? Neal suggested the 15 Day NFDRS Forecast Model or Scripps CAP Seasonal Wildfire Forecast.
· Tom suggested that the Funding and Project Status be included in the presentation at the meeting at Whitefish. Rick requested that Gerry present that this as National Predictive Services Group money.
· Gerry suggested that project proposals are an issue that needs to be addressed at the next meeting.
· NSAW Workshop – Gerry suggested having the GACC Center Managers and Operations Managers hear the final reports. Neal suggested a possible teleconference call, and Rick will look into this.
· Neal suggested that the balance of funding be held unallocated. He further stated that the group is taking the right steps to nurture this program along. Funding can vary from year to year.
Decision: Group approved final $38,000 figure as allocated funds and that remaining $12,000 be held unallocated.
Decision: Gerry will present FY 2004 Funding and Project Status at the Whitefish meeting.
Lead: Gerry Day
Target Completion Date: December 2003
Decision: Rick will investigate possible teleconference
or video taping to share final reports from the Spring
2004 Seasonal Assessment Workshops.
Another alternative is to schedule the Spring Coordinators Meeting the
last week in March in
Lead: Rick Ochoa
Agenda Item: Lessons Learned – Predictive Services 2003 Season
Gerry led the group through a process to discover lessons learned during the 2003 wildland fire season with regards to Predictive Services.
1. What are the notable successes?
· Predictive Services worked well in several areas where we had used it
· More structure to program
· Increased consistency
· Improved quality
· National Assessment Workshop was a success
· New products were useful to a wider variety of users
· More daily use of Predictive Services products
· Credibility in Predictive Services is growing
· Use of Predictive Services products becoming routine
· Managers expect the products to be used
· Coordination between Predictive Services and National Weather Service was positive (especially in Northwest)
· Predictive Service units at the GACCs are being recognized as leaders in longer range outlooks and served as the base for several large landscape fire behavior projections during 2003
2. What were the challenges and how were they overcome?
None were identified.
3. What changes, deletions, and additions are recommended to training?
· Intelligence/Climate/Long Range, GIS
· Individual skill development in dealing with the media and handling interviews (presentation skills)
· Predictive Services synopsis (customized) that can be included into other courses
· Additional tech transfer
· Formalize training curriculum in Intelligence
4. What are the unresolved issues that need further review?
1. Funding strategy for Ops/Training research
2. Adequate staffing
3. AWIPS data communications
4. Wildland Fire Analyst expertise
4. Review needs to be conducted with options and recommendations
5. Relationships between Predictive Services and National Weather Service
6. National fire statistics data
7. Poor coordination between Predictive Services and other groups/agencies
8. What is Predictive Services?
8. Predictive Services strategy (local, regional & national buyoff and input)
9. Associated policies and procedures for PS
10. Validation of PS products
10. Develop validation standards
11. GACC compliance with National Mob Guide
12. How do we identify and prioritize our information/tool needs (where should we invest?)
· Larry Van Bussum stated that there is no policy that states what Predictive Services is and how business is conducted, which causes misunderstandings between Predictive Services and the National Weather Service.
· Neal stated that the challenge is developing a national program across 5 Federal and 50 State agencies. It was noted that policy will likely follow as the program develops.
Agenda Item: The Big 3 Topics
Gerry stated that these Big 3 Topics were a result of the Reno Meeting and the Predictive Services Questionnaire Response Summary (Exhibit G).
#1 Objective: Develop a national framework for Predictive Services
· The group utilizing several documents in developing the National Framework for the Predictive Services Program including the CDF Strategic Plan (Exhibit M) and portions of the Integrated Fire & Aviation Framework document (Exhibit Q). The group agreed upon the following template for the Framework.
· Following a brainstorming and discussion period, the group developed DRAFT Statements for Predictive Services.
Gwenan suggested the draft Framework be shared
at Whitefish so feedback can be provided at our winter meeting in
· Neal stated that No. 2 and 3 of the Big 3 Topics are really goals.
· Gerry suggested the group agree upon the format and terminology of the framework and develop draft wording for each of the items down through “goals”.
· Neal suggested that since Predictive Services is an interagency program, a handbook or guidebook could serve as the foundation program document leaving policy statement to the appropriate agency manuals and directives.
Decision: The group agreed the Predictive Services
Program Framework would include:
The group further discussed definitions of goals, objectives, and tasks.
Goals: Defines what we want to accomplish.
· Identify and implement a suite of standardized products.
Objectives: Defines a measurable target(s) that must be met to attain the goal.
· Identify a minimum list of standard products needed to meet user needs.
· Identify a minimum list of standard products that need to be developed.
· Develop an implementation plan.
Tasks: Defines the actions associated with accomplishing the objective.
· Tom suggested that the objectives and tasks be given to more people to work on so that there is a broader base and feedback and that a more focused group get together after January to work on objectives and tasks.
· Neal offered a sample rewrite of NPSG Goal 5 (Exhibit R).
Lead: Gerry Day
Target Completion Date: December 2003
Agenda Item: Bin Items
Lead: Rick Ochoa
Target Completion Date: End of Year 2003
Lead: Rick Ochoa
Target Completion Date:
3. Whitefish Presentation
The group discussed what should be presented at Whitefish.
· Status/update on NPSG activities.
Solicit involvement in Winter/Spring FY 2004 on objectives and tasks.
· Key messages (data quality, commitment (time, people, and money), products have never been as important as they are now, feedback, web page for NPSG).
· Report on FY 2003 Projects and FY 2004 Project Proposals (incl. how to submit a proposal and where to find the template).
· GACC funding strategy.
Lead: Gerry Day
Target Completion Date: December 2003
4. Meeting Schedule
The group decided that the Spring
Meeting will be the week of
Agenda Items: Updates & Reports
Rick Ochoa provided an update to AWIPS and RAWS/MOS equation:
· Starts new (Tech Transfer) job with JFSP on Monday, November 17th. Congradulations Tom!
· Needs to sort out level of commitment with NPSG.
· Tom has talked to Bob Clark, JFSP Director and felt he would support continued involvement if it doesn’t detract from other duties.
Larry Van Bussum:
Meeting adjoined at
Other documents distributed during the meeting:
1. Memorandum from Tim Hartzell to Jim Saveland re: Fire Suppression Cost Prediction Model (Exhibit U).
2. Strategic Decision and Assessment Oversight Review (Exhibit V).
3. Completed Action Item Tracking Table (Exhibit W).
4. Pending Action Item Tracking Table (Exhibit X).