Fire propagation visualization in real time


  • Monica Denham Universidad Nacional de Río Negro - CONICET
  • Sigfrido Waidelich Laboratorio de Procesamiento de Señales Aplicadas y Computación de Alto Rendimiento. Sede Andina, Universidad Nacional de Río Negro, Argentina
  • Karina Laneri Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Argentina



Forest Fire Simulation, GPGPU, High Performance Computing


Our motivation comes from the need of a tailored computational tool for simulation and prediction of forest fire propagation, to be used by firefighters in Patagonia, Argentina. Based on previous works on Graphic Processing Units (GPU) for fitting and simulating fires in our region, we developed a visualization interface for real time computing, simulation and prediction of fire propagation. We have the possibility of changing the ensemble of raster maps layers to change the region in which fire will propagate.
The visualization platform runs on GPUs and the user can rotate and zoom the landscape to select the optimal view of fire propagation. Opacity of different layers can be regulated by the user, allowing to see fire propagation at the same time that underlying vegetation, wind direction and intensity.
The ignition point can also be selected by the user, and firebreaks can be plotted while simulation is going on.
After the performance of a high number of stochastic simulations in parallel in GPUs, the application shows a map of the final fire surface colored according to the probability that a given cell burns. In this way the user can visually identify the most critical direction for fire propagation, a useful information to stop fire optimizing resources, which is specially important when they are scarce like is the case of our Patagonia region.


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How to Cite

Denham, M., Waidelich, S., & Laneri, K. (2018). Fire propagation visualization in real time. Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 18(03), e27.