Intro to FireSense

| Background |

The United States is facing a wildfire crisis. Though wildland fires are a natural and fundamental process for many ecosystems, due to longer fire seasons, climate change, and an expanding area where communities and wild vegetation meet, wildland fires have become more frequent, larger and more likely to occur at the same time. In 2021 alone, there were over 58,500 wildland fires resulting in more than 7 million acres burned. This leads to increasingly negative impacts on communities, public health, and ecosystems. These increases in fire activity and impacts are expected to continue as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.

The wildland fire crisis needs a new management paradigm that takes full advantage of the best available science, technology, and capabilities to overcome current barriers to more efficient and effective wildland fire management. New science and technology are fundamental to anticipating and managing the new reality of extreme fires in a warming world.

| NASA's Role |

NASA is focused on advancing our knowledge of the Earth as a system in order to meet the challenges of environmental change and to improve life on our planet. To achieve this goal, NASA develops technology and tools to monitor our Earth from both aircraft and satellites and conducts the research required to solve real world problems.

Wildland fire solutions are a major theme within NASA’s Earth Action strategy, and we are uniting diverse expertise from across the agency in an integrated approach to address the current wildland fire crisis in the United States. Specifically, NASA’s unique capabilities in fire science and technology are being co-developed with agencies that are responsible for wildland fire management to help reduce current barriers they face in the management of wildland fires.

The FireSense project is a 5-year effort focused on measurable improvement in US wildland fire management. This is accomplished by working with operational agencies responsible for wildland fire management to mature and deliver NASA’s unique Earth science and technological capabilities.

The development and applications being addressed during FireSense are organized across the fire lifecycle providing guidance for activities within a broader context and structure for developing targeted capabilities to proactively inform and improve the response to wildland fire. Beyond the fire lifecycle, FireSense is intended to enable a transition from reactive to proactive fire response by facilitating increased preparedness and co-existence with fire through co-development of technology and data-informed tools with communities representing resource managers, policy-makers, and stakeholders at all levels.

| FireSense Program Goals |

The NASA SMD Wildfire Stakeholder Engagement Workshop, Feb 2022, identified four uses-cases to improve wildfire management. FireSense goals respond to these use-cases:

Fire Cycle Framework