A Critical Look at the Data Problem in Studies of Wildland Flammability.
A new appraisal of the complex functional relationships among the many variables required to define the degree of fire danger due to wildland flammability. A previous study (RM-5073-TAB) pointed out a serious lack of information on the distribution and growth cycles of vegetation. The present paper provides a network analysis of the elements of wildland fires (other than human behavior). The variety of fire-danger rating systems reflects the differences in plant fuel conditions in different areas. It seems inevitable that our natural biological environment will some day have to be monitored, predicted, and managed in a comprehensive and conceptually unified way, yet today we have inadequate knowledge of even such obvious things as when leaves fall from trees. The long-overdue Forest Service project to develop a national forest fuel appraisal system could provide a framework for the much-needed national ecological survey. (Prepared for presentation at the Conference on Fair-Weather Meteorology, Santa Barbara, February-March 1967.) 20 pp. Ref.