Software developed at ISU aids wildfire response

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POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) Computer software that developed at Idaho State University to aid in post-wildfire recovery efforts is now being used by some fire managers during active fires.

The RECOVER software system takes 26 different types of data and layers them into one information map. The data includes topography like roadways, housing locations, soil types, water bodies and vegetation, and the program helps officials anticipate what might happen during or after a fire to make better management decisions.

Keith Weber is Idaho State University's geographic information system director. He told the Idaho State Journal that the software has helped emergency responders make decisions on 50 fires this season alone, including the massive Woolsey Fire that burned more than 600 structures in Malibu, California.

The main funding for the software project came from a NASA Applied Sciences grant in 2012. Weber says that funding has since expired, but major users of the software including the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service are now reviewing proposals on whether to continue funding RECOVER.

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Information from: Idaho State Journal, http://www.journalnet.com

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