CEFA is an acronym for the Program for Climate, Ecosystem and Fire Applications. It was formed on October 1, 1998 through an assistance agreement between the Bureau of Land Management Nevada State Office and DRI.
CEFA resides within the Division of Atmospheric Sciences of DRI, and works closely with the Western Regional Climate Center. The national oversight group for CEFA is the Fire Environment Working Team under the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.
The primary functions of CEFA are:
- Perform studies and applied research to improve the understanding of relationships between climate, weather, fire and ecosystems.
- Develop decision-support tools for fire applications incorporating climate and weather information.
- Serve as a liaison between the fire, natural resource and scientific research communities by providing product training, education, science delivery, and eliciting user feedback.
- Provide experimental fire weather, fire danger, fire behavior and smoke dispersion/transport forecasting products for operations and research.
- Perform societal interactions studies emphasizing partnerships and the role of climate in planning and policy.
- Provide climate and weather information directly for fire and ecosystem decision-making and strategic planning.
CEFA utilizes a modern computing laboratory for data analysis and scientific visualization supporting the applications products that are routinely produced for wildland fire management agencies. Primary computing is done on SGI ICE 8200 (2.93 GHz Intel Xeon Nehalem processors with the total of 256 cores) and two Dell PowerEdge R920 servers (each sporting Intel Xeon CPU E7-8857 v2 @ 3.00GHz processors with 48 cores) and over 240 terabytes of disk storage. Some operational products are also produced on other SGI and Dell PowerEdge Servers. Apple Macintosh Mac Pros, iMacs, and MacBook Pros provide desktop capabilities to CEFA personnel. A variety of programming, visualization and statistical software packages are used in the applications development.