Prometheus 6.2.0 was released on February 03, 2016.

Installation Instructions

  • Verify that your computer meets or exceeds minimum system requirements.
  • Log on to your computer as a system administrator.
  • Uninstall any previous version of the Prometheus application from your computer.
  • Close all open applications and run prometheus_6.2.0_2016-02-03 [EXE - 51.0 MB]. A Setup Wizard will guide you through the installation. The Setup Wizard will require a restart to your computer if you have not installed a recent version of Prometheus before.
  • If a restart was required, log back on to your computer as an administrator to complete the installation.

Instructions for IT Administrators

The Prometheus Setup Wizard installs an Intel C++ redistributable library package. The installation of this redistributable library package requires a system reboot. The Prometheus Setup Wizard cannot complete until this reboot occurs and a system administrator logs back on to the computer. The following instructions describe how IT Administrators responsible for automating the Prometheus installer can avoid the reboot requirement:

  • Download the appropriate Intel C++ redistributable library package for Windows from the Intel® Developer Zone website. The required redistributable library package is called Update 4. The ZIP archive download should contain a file called w_ccompxe_redist_intel64_2013_sp1.4.237.msi.
  • Install the redistributable library package as per instructions on the Intel website. The standard approach to the installation is sufficient.
  • Open a Command Prompt (or suitable tool, like Powershell) with administrative privileges.
  • From the command line, execute the current version of the Prometheus installer with the /S and /skip_reboot flags.


  • Verify that your computer is running a 64-bit Windows operating system.
  • Verify that Microsoft .NET Framework Version 4.0 or greater is installed on your computer. This software can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center. Try running Windows Update if you still encounter problems.
  • Make sure to reboot your computer after completing the Setup Wizard and log back on as an administrator.

Sample Data Set

The Dogrib sample data set contains an example fire growth model file, model inputs, and a README file.

Archived Versions

Changes in Prometheus 6.2.0:

New Features

  • Added a Prometheus Option for specifying the default map view type that opens after creating a new FGM.
  • Introduced two new statistics called Area Growth Time and Elapsed Processing Time. Area Growth Time reports the accumulated amount of time a fire grows during a simulation. Elapsed Processing Time is the time it takes your computer to simulate a scenario. The following statistics were removed: Active Perimeter Growth Rate, Maximum CFB, Maximum CFC, Maximum FI, Maximum Flame Length, Maximum ROS, Maximum ROS, Maximum SFC, Maximum TFC.
  • The Scenario dialog now lists ignitions in alpha-numeric order.
  • Removal of some F1 menu items and a reset of the toolbar and menubar locations.
  • Changed the color table used for displaying fire intensities to match the tables in the Field Guide to the Canadian Forest Fire Behavior Prediction (FBP) System (Taylor et al. 1997).
  • Added meters per hour (m/h) to the display units for rate of spread.
  • The Maximum Calculation Time Step setting has been removed from Prometheus Options.
  • Changed the condition for when a weather station distance warning appears. The warning previously appeared when a new station location was > 100 km from grid center. The warning now appears when a new station location is > 40 km from the grid extent. This change will result in fewer warning messages when creating large landscape simulations.
  • Added a default fuel look-up table for Tasmania, Australia.
  • Made several updates to the default fuel lookup table for New Zealand.
  • Breaching and burning conditions are now by default on.
  • Suppressed Prometheus Options for applying BUI effect and acceleration. These settings are now always on and cannot be changed.
  • Vector data import now scans for and removes duplicate polygons.
  • Added import and export support for single-band GeoTIFF grid files and improved recognition of various projection file formats.
  • Integrated the Landscape Properties dialog into the New Project Wizard and improved time zone detection based on the location of grid inputs.
  • Renamed the "FGM_DATE" attribute in fire perimeter export files to "DATE". Date values are now in "yyyy-mm-dd" format.
  • Linear interpolation of latitude/longitude that was introduced for performance in older versions is now disabled.
  • Introduced a new method Grid_ConvertUnits() for Burn-P3 to perform coordinate conversions.
  • Added an option to import deterministic and ensemble forecast information directly from a Meteorological Service of Canada URL. This adds 64-bit Java to the list of Prometheus prerequisites. The installer now checks for the presence of the correct Java libraries. If missing, they must be installed separately, and prior to Prometheus.
  • Added interpolation for missing weather stream data upon import. Hourly weather stream files now require a minimum of 4 observations per day spaced 6 hours apart. The first record in a weather stream must start on hour 0. The last record in a weather stream must end on hour 23. Spline interpolation is used to fill missing temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed values. Missing wind direction values are filled using a piece-wise constant approach. Missing precipitation values are assumed to be zero.
  • Precipitation amounts for daily weather streams are now applied to hour 1200 LST (1300 LDT). In previous version, daily precipitation was divided across 24 hours.
  • Removed support for FGM files from version 5.3 and prior. These old FGM files now contain incompatible spatial weather stream configurations, data, and modes.
  • Updates to the interrupt time step loop to ensure that display time step occurrences do not affect simulation outputs.
  • The untangler no longer runs unless burning conditions for a simulation time step have been met.
  • Introduced a dynamic distance resolution setting that is by default on. This setting will result in a noticeable performance improvement when simulating > 10,000 ha fires with minimal impact on the final fire size and shape. When this setting is on, a logistic equation determines the distance resolution for the current time step based on total area burned in the previous time step. Distance resolution equals 1 grid cell up to 10,000 ha, increases exponentially to its sigmoidal midpoint of 2.5 grid cells at 50,000 ha, and levels off to 4 grids cells at 90,000 ha.
  • Crash Report integration.
  • Introduced caching of perimeter and area values and improved memory cache performance.
  • Synchronization primitive performance improvements.
  • Updates to the custom threading library to deal with Windows updates and supporting more cores.
  • Updates to the installer to deal with Java, and better silent install operation and documentation.

Bug Fixes

  • Previously, when very slow rate of spread values occurred, it was possible for a divide-by-zero situation to occur in the equations used to simulate fire growth. This has now been resolved. A minimum equilibrium rate of spread of 0.001 m/min is required for any growth to take place. Fire perimeter vertices that fall below this threshold are marked as not growing during the respective time step.
  • Removed a condition from the C-6 fuel type where crown fraction burned (CFB) equaled zero when crown base height (CBH) equaled zero.
  • Fixes and improvements to Poly::Unwind(), including retaining more interior perimeters.
  • Installer changes to fix BurnP3 / path issues.

Changes in Prometheus 6.1.0:

New Features

  • Win32 support is no longer provided. The installation script and various pieces in the code have been updated accordingly.
  • Enabled silent installs of Prometheus, provided the Intel compiler prerequisites are already installed. To run the Prometheus installer silently and without a reboot you need the /S and /skip_reboot flags.
  • Upgraded to a custom build of GDAL 1.11.1. This includes the currently associated build of PROJ.4. This build includes support for NetCDF files. Added a synonym to pre-process projection files sent to PROJ.4, so that GRS80 == GRS_1980.
  • Imported grid files no longer need to be precisely geo-referenced to the origin of the originally imported fuel grid. Grid files which are within 0.001 meters are now accepted quietly. Note that imported grid files must still have the same extent and resolution.
  • Dynamic rounding is now applied to breaching and the management of fire vertices. Static rounding was previously used. Dynamic rounding is theoretically better than static rounding. However, expect slower performance as the size and duration of a fire simulation increases. Eg.) no performance difference for a 6000 ha simulation over 10 time steps, 25 seconds slower for a 13,000 ha simulation over 20 time steps, and 90 seconds slower for a 14,000 ha simulation over 70 time steps.
  • The header names for the default fuel look-up table are now grid_value, export_value, descriptive_name, fuel_type, r, g, b, h, s, l. Previously used header names are still accepted when importing a look-up table file. The export_value column is now optional. When missing, the export value column is assumed to equal the grid_value column. Prometheus now sorts fuel types in a look-up table in ascending order based on the grid_value column.
  • Several synonyms associated with Non-Fuel have been removed. Prometheus recognizes "Non Fuel", "NF" and several New Zealand fuel types as synonyms for Non-Fuel. Note that Prometheus is not case sensitive with respect to fuel types. The most noticeable impact of this change is the fuel type assigned to Not Available, Water, Unknown, Unclassified, and Vegetated Non-Fuel in the default look-up table for Canada. These fuel types now reference Non-Fuel. Fuel type identifiers were removed from the descriptive names in the default look-up table for Canada. Application defaults will be reset when first running this version.
  • Fuel type is now displayed in the New Project Wizard table. Several cosmetic updates were also made to the New Project Wizard.
  • Fuel type information listed in the component view now displays grid code, descriptive name, and fuel type. Eg.) 1: Spruce-Lichen Woodland (C-1). Note that when multiple grid codes are assigned to the same fuel type, they are separated by commas before the colon in the component view display string. The component view now sorts fuel types in ascending order based on their associated grid code values.
  • Added an option on the first tab of the Prometheus Options dialog to suppress the creation of a new map view when running a scenario that is not already assigned to a map view. By default, the map view is still created.
  • Removed settings for smoothing, number of starting vertices, and elevation where NODATA or no grid exists from the Simulation Settings dialog and Scenario Report. Values are conditionally reset when an old FGM is opened, and a warning message is added to the Project Comments. These settings can still be defined in the code, but are no longer available through the user interface. These settings are also still available to PromtheusCOM clients.
  • Minor cosmetic updates to the Simulation Settings dialog and Scenario Report. Most noticeable, the third Fire Weather Interpolation option was renamed, and the landscape properties button was removed from the Simulation Settings dialog. Fuel lookup-table was added to, and several items were re-ordered in, the Scenario Report.
  • Introduced code to simplify time zone selection.
  • Introduced code to recognize latitude/longitude coordinates located in Australia, and when true, default Foliar Moisture Content (FMC) to 145 %.
  • Introduced code for importing total fuel load grids. Note, options to import and/or work with total fuel load grids have been temporarily suppressed in the Prometheus interface.
  • Updated grass fuel load units on the edit fuel type dialog from Tons/Ha to t/ha.
  • Increased allowable daily precipitation in daily FFMC, DC, and DMC calculations from 300 mm to 600 mm.
  • Introduced more error code messages to PrometheusCOM, to provide textual information when error codes appear.
  • Minor tweaks made to the Microsoft Foundation Class (MFC) wrapper code to deal with extracting application defaults from the registry.
  • PrometheusCOM now expects date/times to be presented in YYYY-mm-ddTHH:MM:SS format on its programming interface. This format is ISO compliant. Other formats may no longer work. Other formats were considered but with PrometheusCOM clients now being written in Java, the basic text format was deemed most appropriate.
  • The Prometheus about box now displays all four values for the version string. A new option is available for PrometheusCOM clients too. A request for information in the same manner (and function call) as PROMETHEUSCOM_VERSION, but instead passing a value of PROMETHEUSCOM_RELEASEDATE (value is 206) will return the date of the release in time_t (seconds since 1970) format. A breaking change has been made to PrometheusCOM, where a new function called GetStringAttribute() is now available. It will accept two attribute keys, PROMETHEUSCOM_VERSION, and PROMETHEUSCOM_RELEASEDATE (value is 206). As before, the client must free memory allocated in this routine (allocated using SysAllocString()).

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where some fire simulations did not advance when breaching was applied with multiple intersecting vectors. This bug fix involved re-introducing locking to avoid multithreading sync issues and inverting some logic to sometimes check if a location is close to another (based on some epsilon), and other times check if a location is precisely the same as another.
  • Fixed an extremely rare bug in the caching of the polygon untangler where some potential intersections may have been missed.
  • Fixed a bad assumption leading to crashes in the polygon untangler.
  • Fixed an issue where error conditions associated with too many grids of the same type in a scenario were not treated consistently.
  • Fixed an undocumented bug where Crown Base Height (CBH) and tree height grid values were stored as integers, not real numbers.
  • Fixed a user interface bug in the component view that appeared when cancelling a weather station edit operation.
  • Fixed a re-import weather stream bug where importing a new file over an existing weather stream either froze the application or resulted in a crash.
  • Fixed recursive DMC and DC calculations associated with the third fire weather interpolation option. DMC and DC were using noon precipitation values instead of the past 24 hours. These calculations now correctly use precipitation from the past 24 hours.
  • Fixed a bug with the KML perimeter export, where playback times in Google Earth were interpreted as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Playback times are now interpreted using the time zone from your Prometheus simulation. Note, the default setting in Google Earth is to convert these playback times to the time zone used by your computer's clock.
  • Fixed some bugs affecting extremely large allocations that caused Burn-P3 to crash (but not Prometheus).
  • Introduced code to make sure that ASCII grid exports can only happen one at a time. This fixes a crash in BurnP3, but has no affect on Prometheus because of the user interface.

Your computer must meet or exceed the following system requirements in order to install and use the Prometheus application and COM.

Requirement Minimum Recommended
Operating System* 64-bit Windows Vista or
Windows Server 2008
64-bit Windows 7/8/10 or
Windows Server 2008 R2
Software Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5
Processors 4 cores 4 hyper-threading cores
Memory 6 GB 12 GB
Hard Drive 5 GB 500 GB
Screen Resolution 1280 x 720 1600 x 1024

*32-bit operating systems are not supported.

Prometheus: the Canadian Wildland Fire Growth Simulation Model

Prometheus is a national interagency fire management decision support tool developed with the cooperation and financial support of fire management agencies across Canada. A Prometheus Project Steering Committee was responsible for coordinating early development of the Prometheus application. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is now the lead agency and custodian. The Prometheus application and Prometheus COM are freeware software.

Last Modified: 2016-02-04