Simulate forest fires with ForeFire

In a lab at the University of Corsica, the French national research agency CNRS has developed a very slick forest fire simulator that uses the Google Earth Plug-in.


The tool itself is quite impressive, using a physical combustion and spread model to simulate the advance of a fire front. Just choose an ignition point, change the wind to the direction of your choosing, and watch it burn. Even better, you can adjust the wind during the course of a burn to see how things change.
Try it for yourself here:
At the end of the simulation, you can download the final result as a KMZ file for use in Google Earth. That file is pretty cool and gives you a great way to visualize the data.

The simulation takes a lot of data into account, including fuels, roads and elevation. As a result, some point may not start a fire if they are on unburnable land. Also of note is that only Corsica is current set-up in the system, so the rest of the world is currently fireproof.
They’re looking for feedback about the interface and features, so feel free to leave a comment with any ideas you might have.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. Jaime Lopez says:

    It seems a great app to me as a Forest Engineer. I will use to find more useful things to apply.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Here is another asteroid impact simulator that uses the Google Earth Plug-in:

  3. This simulation would be great to connect to Ushahidi. Their crisis-mapping system was used to spread information and protect people during wildfires in Russia this year ( ).
    If you develop an API for CreateFichierXML.php and let other websites access it, then it would be possible.

  4. I wish the rest of the world IS fireproof! I’ll wait till the plug in becomes more widespread across the globe.

  5. Very nice. I hope to see more of the world! It doesn’t actually use the plugin though, only the terrain control on maps.

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