Wildland Fire Decision Support System: End user perspectives

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The increasing complexity of wildland fire management highlights the importance of sound decision making. Numerous fire management decision support systems (FMDSS) are designed to enhance science and technology delivery or assist fire managers with decision-making tasks. However, few scientific efforts have explored the adoption and use of FMDSS by fire managers. This research couples existing decision support system research and in-depth interviews with US Forest Service fire managers to explore perspectives surrounding the Wildland Fire Decision Support System (WFDSS). Results indicate that fire managers appreciate many WFDSS components but view it primarily as a means to document fire management decisions. They describe on-the-ground actions that can be disconnected with decisions developed in WFDSS, which they attribute to the timeliness of WFDSS outputs, the complexity of the WFDSS design, and how it was introduced to managers. We conclude by discussing how FMDSS development could address concerns raised by managers.

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