WRF-Fire development notes

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Main article: WRF-SFIRE user guide. To get the software, see How to get WRF-Fire.

This page tracks activity in the WRF-Fire and related software development. All members of the community are welcome to get an account and edit.

Wish list

Add your suggestions or plans here. If you want to comment on any of the items, please start a new section of the talk page and link to it here.
  • Heat flux extinction depth dependent on fuel type and possibly times step
  • Interpolate by angle between different backing, flank, and forward spread rates.
  • Rework the propagation scheme so that the speed is computed only once per time step instead inside the right-hand-side in the Runge-Kutta method.
  • Add flux limiter option as in Rehm and McDermott 2009.
  • Flank spread rate as a function of base rate and TKE/turbulent fluxes
  • Turn off artificial diffusion for good
  • Implement full BURNUP algorithm instead of the simplification.
  • Keep standalone model working.
  • Add a canopy fire model for passive (colocated with surface fire) canopy fire.
  • Parametrize ignition startup. See discussion.
  • Input fuel moisture from the WRF surface model. See discussion.
  • Better level set method: High-order ENO and WENO, discontinuous Galerkin.
  • Rewrite the level set method so that the level set function is ignition time minus current time and get rid of the separate tign array.
  • Use the Fire SDK to compute ROS.
  • ROS model from Balbi et al 2009.
  • Force the fire to a given location from a file read on restart. This will require fire history replay and atmosphere spin-up.
  • Modify fuel from a file on restart to reflect suppression efforts.
  • Ignition & fire modification from MODIS fire detection.
  • Add fractional fuel volume to fuel categories and generate random fuel coverage.
  • Add other variables in the National Fire Danger Rating System as diagnostics to WRF output.

In progress

When you start on an item from the wish list, please move the item here and add a link to the branch where you work on it.
  • Clamp ignition point to the nearest cell center to avoid delay, see also WRF-Fire ignition
  • Fire cell-based fire propagation to get ignition time in lieu of a level-set function branch vk/mergge
  • Assimilation of station data into the fuel moisture model branch mv/moisture
  • Ignition from a given fire perimeter, with atmosphere and fuel consumption spin-up, by specifying ignition times. See discussion.
  • Real test problems with real fire data comparing fine and coarse resolutions.
  • Better quadrature for fuel left: The current scheme is second order accurate when all 4 corners of a fire mesh cell are on fire, and exact when all 4 corners are not on fire. In the case when only some of the 4 corners are on fire, the only requirements are that the transition when nodes ignite is continuous and monotonous. In that case, the scheme may not be very accurate. A better scheme would be accurate in more cases and have natural invariance properties. branch jm2/mkim last commit branch vk/test
This affects the amount of heat output from the cell in the timesteps when the fireline crosses the cell.


Move the item here when done and add a link to the contributor's last commit before the merge into master. Links to major milestone events can be also added to the timeline.


  • Ned Patton and Janice Coen propose WRF-Fire in a workshop paper and formulate the fundamental principles of how to combine WRF with the fire spread model from CAWFE.


  • Standalone fire model from CAWFE rewritten in F90 by Ned Patton received Mar 31 2005


  • John Michalakes writes specs for support of fire grids in WRF Feb 6 2006


  • Alternative implementation of fire grid in nested domains in WRF by Jon Beezley Feb 29 2007
  • WRF-Fire development started from the WRF+CAWFE tracers code received from Ned Patton, Jon set up the git repository Jun 6 2007
  • Matlab prototype of level set method working Aug 30, 2007
  • Imported a modular rewrite with a new standalone level set code, called SFIRE Sep 5 2007
  • WRF+spread by level set coupled code working Nov 2 2007
  • Paper with description of WRF-Fire and data assimilation posted on arXiv Dec 24 2007
  • Ignition controlled from namelist Dec 24 2007










Back burner

Items from the wish list that are around for a long time or may never be done should be moved here.
  • Merge additional changes made independently in the WRF 3.3 release.
  • Convert ignition namelist variables into arrays for multiple ignitions.
  • Add running (not colocated with surface fire) canopy fire.
  • Support WRF-NMM in addition to WRF-ARW
  • Take the winds from a given distance behind the fireline, and set the distance in the namelist.
  • Add fuel models & fuel modeling schemes, esp. Scott-Burgan categories. Input the same fuel description files as BehavePlus and FARSITE.
  • Generate input data for WFDS.

See also

External links