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C. Researchers Hoping to Predict Wildfire Behavior in Real Time

Narrator: This is Science Today. Imagine a computer model program that could predict the behavior of a wildfire and how to contain it in real time? That's just what scientists at the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National laboratories are working on. Mike Bradley, an atmospheric scientist at the Livermore Lab, says the program is similar to weather prediction.

Bradley: The models embody the full set of physical equations that determine the behavior of the wildfire - the chemistry, the radiation, the variation in the fuel as affected by the progression of the fire. And actually simulate within the virtual world of the computer, the wildfire behavior.

Narrator: The fact this system would simulate not only the fire and the weather, but the two components together - is what's essential to the concept.

Bradley: We just really believe that this program has a high potential to save lives, to protect property, to preserve natural resources and possibly even to protect endangered species.

Narrator: Although the program is not available yet, Bradley says it's generating positive feedback from various agencies. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.