Wind field parallelization based on python multiprocessing to reduce forest fire propagation prediction uncertainty

Gemma Sanjuan, Tomas Margalef*, Ana Cortés

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Forest fires provoke significant loses from the ecological, social and economical point of view. Furthermore, the climate emergency will also increase the occurrence of such disasters. In this context, forest fire propagation prediction is a key tool to fight against these natural hazards efficiently and mitigate the damages. However, forest fire spread simulators require a set of input parameters that, in many cases, cannot be measured and must be estimated indirectly introducing uncertainty in forest fire propagation predictions. One of such parameters is the wind. It is possible to measure wind using meteorological stations and it is also possible to predict wind using meteorological models such as WRF. However, wind components are highly affected by the terrain topography introducing a large degree of uncertainty in forest fire spread predictions. Therefore, it is necessary to introduce wind field models that estimate wind speed and direction at very high resolution to reduce such uncertainty. Such models are time consuming models that are usually executed under strict time constrains. So, it is critical to minimize the execution time, taking into account the fact that in many cases it is not possible to execute the model on a supercomputer, but must be executed on commodity hardware available on the field or at control centers. This work introduces a new parallelization approach for wind field calculation based on Python multiprocessing to accelerate wind field evaluation. The results show that the new approach reduces execution time using a single personal computer.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)550-560
Number of pages11
JournalLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Forest fire spread simulation
  • Python multiprocessing
  • Wind field parallelization


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