User Types

There are two basic users of the database: data users and data collectors. Data users include, for example, fire management decision-makers, meteorologists calibrating fire weather indices, Fire Behavior Analysts, Geospatial Analysts, Long-Term Analysts, and Fire Monitors. Data collectors are the people sampling and processing fuel moisture information from the field.

The web application is built first for the user of the fuel moisture information and second for the collector. LTANS and FBANS often cycle through Alaskan fire assignments whereas fuel moisture collectors are more likely to be local and more familiar with the operation of the website. Links are organized with viewing links on top and data entry links on the bottom.

Why this database?

Fire management is a cooperative and inter-agency effort. In the past fuel moisture data was collected, stored, and used by individual agencies in Alaska and was poorly shared. In 2006 the National Fuel Moisture Database (NFMD) was created in an effort to centrally coordinate fuel moisture information for the entire U.S. Adoption of NFMD in Alaska was slow primarily because fuel moisture sampling is not conducted at single sites on regular schedules but is opportunistically collected from remote fire locations and primarily to calibrate remote, automated, weather stations with the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (CFFDRS). It made little sense to spend time creating "single-use" sites in NFMD. In 2012 the Alaska Fuel Moisture Database (AFMD) was written and customized to accept, process, and centrally distribute opportunistically collected fuel moisture information and output estimates of CFFDRS indices where appropriate.


To prevent unauthorized use, abuse and, mis-use of the web application, a user name and password is required. Contact the site administrator for site registration: Eric Miller, BLM Alaska Fire Service, 907-356-5857 (Desk) 907-978-2890 (Cell). Viewing information does not require a password. However data entry, deletion, and manipulation does.

Data Entry

At the data entry page select an existing location from the drop-down box or click on the new location link below the drop-down box to enter a new location (See below for new locations). Use the drop-down boxes to enter a sample date. Fuel types are broken out into four categories.

  1. Boreal Forest/Feathermoss. Duff layers typically found in boreal forests. May be used to calibrate CFFDRS indices.
  2. Dead Surface Fuels. Surface fuels typically sampled in L48 or on upland sites in Alaska. Fuels found in timber-litter or hardwood fuel models.
  3. Vegetation. Live vegetation or dead vegetative components that are still attached.
  4. Other. Non-fuels or novel fuel beds such as masticated debris.

If you want to enter a more specific fuel type, use the "User Description" box. This box allows the user to further identify the fuel. For example if a generic "Shrub, Evergreen" was identified in the Fuel Type drop-down above, you could enter "Labrador Tea" in the User Description box. This field is included as a sorting and averaging field on the Detailed Listing and Summarized Listing pages. That is, all the records of "Shrub, Evergreen -> Labrador Tea" will be averaged separately from "Shrub, Evergreen" records.

Enter the unique container identifier in the container field. Wet weight is the beginning weight of the fuel and container. Dry Wt is the weight of the sample and container after it has been dried in a convection oven. Tare Wt is the weight of the container. If there is no container, enter zero. Moisture content is calculated as (Wet-Dry)/(Dry-Tare)×100%.

Enter your name in the Staff field and any comments about the sample in the Comments field. Click the Submit button to add the record to the database.

Once a record has been entered the page will refresh and show the moisture content and, if applicable, an estimate of the corresponding CFFDRS index. The page will show the latest four entries for the sample date and location. The edit button allows you to fix any errors.

New Location

A new location minimally requires a name. If the location is a fire, fields are available for the fire number and the fire year. Fields are also available for latitude and longitude which, when programmed, will allow mapping capability. Enter coordinates in standard GIS format: decimal degrees, not degrees, minutes, seconds or any other format. Negative (West) longitudes are assumed for Alaska so omit the minus sign (-).


My location doesn't appear in the drop-down box on the Data Entry page?

The drop-down on the Data Entry page is periodically "cleaned" of old, inactive sites in order to avoid a drop-down list that is overly long. Your site should still appear in the drop-down on the Detailed List and Summarized List pages, unless the Administrator has inactivated it. If you need the site re-activated please contact the Administrator.

I deleted my data. Is it really gone?

No. Despite the "Delete" label the data is merely "ticked off" so that it doesn't appear to the user anymore. Contact the Administrator to "untick" your data.