How to cite WFEIS

French, N.H.F., D. McKenzie, T. Erickson, B. Koziol, M. Billmire, K.A. Endsley, N.K.Y. Scheinerman, L. Jenkins, M.E. Miller, R. Ottmar, and S. Prichard. "Modeling regional-scale fire emissions with the Wildland Fire Emissions Information System." Earth Interactions 18, no. 16 (2014)

URL Encoding Help

As an alternative to using the Emissions Calculator GUI, users can retrieve WFEIS modeling runs via properly encoded URL's. An example URL is shown here:,24,-65,50&DRNG=2001-01-01,2001-12-31&SCC=2810001000

The URL is comprised of three main sections:
  1. the API (in this and almost all cases, emissions);
  2. the required parameters (separated by '/');
  3. and the optional filters (after the ?, separated by &)

Here is the example deconstructed with valid values for each parameter listed:
/map.[txt|json|shp|kml|cmaq|tif|nc]?  <- output format
BBOX=[llX,llY,urX,urY]  <-spatial filter
&DRNG=[YYYY-MM-DD,YYYY-MM-DD]  <-temporal filter

The ecoregion, 1000hr_FM, Duff_FM, CanopyPerConsume, PercentBlack, combustion_stage, and stratum parameters are all inputs to the USFS Consume model.

It is recommended to use None for ecoregion, 1000hr_FM, Duff_FM, and CanopyPerConsume to retain WFEIS default values. See 5. Customize WFEIS Parameters for a detailed explanation.

BBOX is one of several optional spatial filters, only one of which can be used in each URL:

&FNAME=[MTBS fire name]

If one of the raster output formats is select (tif or nc), both GRIDRES (output grid cell size in degrees) and emistype (emission type) need to be set:


Modeling Component Help

This section is devoted to a detailed explanation of the input parameters and usage of the emissions calculator API user interface with some background information on WFEIS input datasets and model parameters. See the Project Outputs page for posters, presentations, technical reports, code documentation, and analyses.

Table of contents:
1. Select Burned Area Product
2. Temporal Extent Selection
3. Spatial Extent Selection
4. Additional Filters
5. Customize WFEIS Parameters
6. Select Data Outputs

1. Select Burned Area Product

Updated March 18, 2014

WFEIS currently has five burned area product options: MODIS MCD64A1, Landsat MTBS, Landsat Daily, SmartFire 2011 NEI, and Agricultural NEI. This selection determines the fire burn perimeter and day of burning used in the WFEIS calculations.

    Available data in WFEIS: North America, August 2000 through April 2013

    MCD64A1 is a MODIS satellite-derived product (alternatively named: Direct Broadcast Burn Area Product (DBBAP)) that uses surface reflectance, daily active fire, and land cover products to delineate burned area. Burn cells are tagged by approximate burn date. This product is available North America-wide for 2001 to the present at 500 meter spatial resolution.

    For more information on MODIS DBBAP see:
    Giglio, L. et al. 2009 Rem. Sens. Environ., 113(2), 408-420.

  • Landsat Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS)
    Available data in WFEIS: United States (CONUS & Alaska), January 1984 through December 2011

    MTBS is a Landsat satellite-derived product that consists of burned area polygons from the MTBS project. MTBS is a multi-year project to consistently map burn severity and perimeters of fires across the United States from 1984 through the present. MTBS is sponsored by the Wildlands Fire Leadership Council (WFLC), and is conducted through a partnership between the U.S. Geological Survey National Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) and USDA Forest Service Remote Sensing Application Center (RSAC).

  • Landsat Daily
    Available data in WFEIS: United States (CONUS & Alaska), January 1984 through December 2011

    This dataset combines the fine-scale burn perimeter delineation of the MTBS Landsat product with the daily temporal resolution of the MODIS Active Fire product (Giglio et al. 2006). This product was created by MTRI for use within WFEIS based on the algorithm described by Loboda and Csiszar (2007); it includes fires cataloged in the MTBS database and augments the perimeter data from MTBS with more refined day of burning information to create a modeled fire progression within the MTBS fire perimeter. For the time period before the availability of MODIS Active Fire data (i.e. before November 1, 2000), this dataset is identical to the Landsat MTBS dataset.

    Giglio, L., I. Csiszar, and C. O. Justice. 2006. Global distribution and seasonality of active fires as observed with the Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors, J. Geophys.Res.,111, G02016, doi:10.1029/2005JG000142

    Loboda T.V. and I.A. Csiszar. 2007. Reconstruction of fire spread within wildland fire events in Northern Eurasia from the MODIS active fire product. Global and Planetary Change 56, 258-273.

  • SmartFire 2011 NEI
    Available data in WFEIS: United States (CONUS), January 2011 through December 2011

    The SmartFire fire information system is a framework for aggregating, associating, and reconciling wildland fire information from disparate sources. This dataset represents products used to develop U.S. EPA's 2011 National Emissions Inventory (NEI) for wildland fire. More information on this product, including data access, can be found here.

  • Agricultural NEI
    Available data in WFEIS: United States (CONUS only), January 2012 through December 2012

    This dataset comprises the cropland burning database developed for the U.S. EPA National Emissions Inventory (NEI) by Jessica L. McCarty, Ph.D. ( at MTRI under work funded by NASA contract #NNX09AP53G. A differenced Normalized Burned Ratio (dNBR) was used to map potential cropland burned area using MOD09A1 8-day surface reflectance (McCarty et al. 2008, results published in McCarty et al. 2009 and McCarty 2011). For this version 2, a higher dNBR threshold of 425 was applied across CONUS. This threshold was based on burn scars in cropland areas derived from 2011 Landsat data. Burn scars were digitized in cropland areas of FL, MN, ND, CA, and WY. Active fire data from the MODIS sensor were used for visual comparison with the cropland dNBR.

    Unlike the other burned area datasets, this dataset represents agricultural burning only, and instead of fuelbeds uses crop types derived from the USDA NASS Cropland Data Layer (CDL). Emissions estimates are generated using the Seiler and Crutzen (1980) method of multiplying crop type-specific combustion completeness, fuel loadings, and emission factors.

    Selection of this dataset will disable the CONSUME-specific customization options under Step 5.

    McCarty, J.L., T. Loboda, S. Trigg. 2008. A hybrid approach to quantifying crop residue burning in the US based on burned area and active fire data. Appl. Eng. Agric. 24: 515-527.

    McCarty, J.L., S. Korontzi, C.O. Jutice, and T. Loboda. 2009. The spatial and temporal distribution of crop residue burning in the contiguous United States. Science of the Total Environment. 407 (21): 5701-5712.

    McCarty, J.L. 2011. Remote sensing-based estimates of annual and seasonal emissions from crop residue burning in the contiguous United States. JAPCA J Air Waste Ma. 61, 22-34.

    Seiler, W., and P.J. Crutzen. 1980. Estimates of gross and net fluxes of carbon between the biosphere and the atmosphere from biomass burning, Clim. Change, 2, 207-247.

2. Temporal Extent Selection

Select the start and end date for WFEIS calculations. If the exact start and end dates are not known, select a reasonable date range. Inputs must be formatted with the following syntax: YYYY-MM-DD.

Dates available for calculation start in 1984 and are indicated in the calendar selection as black dates (rather than gray dates) depending on the burn area product selected in Box 1.

3. Spatial Extent Selection

Three options for selecting the spatial extent; choose one input

Option 1: Region of Interest: Users may designate a region of interest by ecoregion, state/province, or Air Quality Partnership groups. The ecoregions are defined by the EPA/CEC Level II Ecoregions for North America (a.k.a. Omernik ecoregions). Currently, only US states are available under the state/province selection. As spatial coverage of WFEIS expands, these selections will be modified. The Air Quality Partnerships are groups of states partnered for air quality activities.

Option 2: MTBS Fire Name: If familiar with the MTBS database, spatial extent can be selected by MTBS fire name. Refer to the MTBS database tool for more information. The input box also accepts a series of comma-delimited fire names.

Option 3: Geographic extent may be entered manually or set using the interactive map. Manual input requires entering bounding-box latitudes and longitudes for each cardinal direction. Don't forget to negate longitudinal coordinates in the western hemisphere. To use the automatic interactive map, zoom either in or out using the plus or minus icons and pan by clicking and dragging. Once you can see the whole area you wish to select, click 'Start Drawing'. Then, click two corners of an extent rectangle (Latitude and Longitude values will self-populate). You can click and drag the red flags to adjust the rectangle.

4. Additional Filters

Updated March 12, 2014

Once you have selected a temporal and spatial range for your query, you can apply additional optional filters.

At least one of the natural (i.e. wildland fire) or agricultural fuels emissions boxes must be checked (natural is selected by default). Note that including both will require extra processing time. As of March 2014, WFEIS (v0.4) uses the US Forest Service's 1-km Aggregated FCCS with MODIS-enhance canopy fuels for its natural fuels map. Natural fuels emissions are calculated via CONSUME.

The cropmask (for delineating between natural and agricultural fuels) and agricultural fuels are based on the NACP Integrated Wildland Cropland 30-m Fuel Characteristics Map. For WFEIS, an upscaled 1-km version of the cropmask and agricultural fuels were produced. The upscaled 1-km agricultural fuels map pixel values are 12-digit codes indicating the top three most common 30m agricultural fuelbeds and their corresponding percent cover within the 1-km pixel. WFEIS decodes these values and calculates emissions according to methods published in McCarty et al. (2008).

There is also an optional filter to restrict the emissions calculation to a particular EPA Source Classification Code (SCC). Currently there are three SCC Level Three codes represented by the fuelbeds in the WFEIS system (Forest Wildfires, Prescribed Rangeland Burning, and Agricultural Field Burning).

McCarty, J.L., T. Loboda, S. Trigg. 2008. A hybrid approach to quantifying crop residue burning in the US based on burned area and active fire data. Appl. Eng. Agric. 24: 515-527.

5. Customize WFEIS Parameters

Updated October 3, 2013

Uncheck this box to customize the input parameters for the CONSUME module in WFEIS. CONSUME, developed by the USDA Forest Service and Environmental Research Applications (FERA) Team, is a software tool that calculates consumption and emissions. More information and a GUI version of CONSUME can be found here.

CAUTION: Because of the spatial nature of the WFEIS and methods to choose default inputs based on spatial information, it is recommended that users retain the default inputs for running WFEIS. The WFEIS system uses weather station data and spatial statistics to determine both 1000-hour and duff fuel moisture inputs. Crown fire potential information from FCCS is used to calculate canopy consumption percentage by fuelbed. Currently, a default shrub blackened percentage of 50 is used across all fuelbeds. Note: Customization of input information will result in the revised input(s) being used across the entire area of calculation. WFEIS spatially and temporally varies fuel moisture and canopy consumption across the area of calculation if customization inputs are not made.

6. Select Data Outputs

Model results can be delivered in one of several non-spatial (text report, JSON, CMAQ) or spatial (KML, ESRI Shapefile, GeoTIFF, netCDF) formats.
  • The text report provides a .txt file that includes summary statistics and a CSV of each query record. This format can be read in any text reader software or can be imported into a spreadsheet or word processing software, such as MSExcel or MSWord.
  • JSON is a lightweight, human-readable, data format used extensively to communicate data between web clients and servers. With this format, it is easy to integrate WFEIS modelling into other web or data processing applications. To get back all queryset records, add "include_records=True" to the end of the generated URL and re-run.
  • CMAQ-CSV produces a .csv file that is intended for use with the EPA CMAQ (Community Multiscale Air Quality) model. This model is used to derive estimates of ozone, particulates, toxics, and acid deposition.
  • A KML file is used primarily by Google Earth©. This is the most convenient way to view the spatial output of the query if Google Earth is installed on your computer.
  • An ESRI shapefile is a vector format used by ArcGIS software from ESRI.
  • GeoTIFF is a gridded spatial format. It requires selection of a grid resolution and fuel consumption/emission type that the cell values represent (both options are selected below the output format selector field). It can be used by users who need a gridded output for use within GIS processing software.
  • netCDF is a format used to provide gridded data for many global modeling routines and systems. It requires selection of a grid resolution and fuel consumption/emission type that the cell values represent (both options are selected below the output format selector field). It can be used by users who need a gridded output for use within GIS processing software.

Run WFEIS: Select this button to run the WFEIS system.

Reset Selections: Use this to set the entry boxes to the default values