Recent advances and applications of WRF–SFIRE
Coupled atmosphere–fire models can now generate forecasts in real time, owing to recent advances in computational capabilities. WRF–SFIRE consists of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model coupled with the fire-spread model SFIRE. This paper presents new developments, which were introduced as a response to the needs of the community interested in operational testing of WRF–SFIRE. These developments include a fuel-moisture model and a fuel-moisture-data-assimilation system based on the Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) observations, allowing for fire simulations across landscapes and time scales of varying fuel-moisture conditions. The paper also describes the implementation of a coupling with the atmospheric chemistry and aerosol schemes in WRF–Chem, which allows for a simulation of smoke dispersion and effects of fires on air quality. There is also a data-assimilation method, which provides the capability of starting the fire simulations from an observed fire perimeter, instead of an ignition point. Finally, an example of operational deployment in Israel, utilizing some of the new visualization and data-management tools, is presented.