Arc Mapping: A Review of Findings and a Reply to the ATF Laboratory

There has been a lot of debate in fire investigation industry recently regarding Arc Mapping.  NAFI’s mission is to increase the knowledge and improve the skills of persons engaged in the investigation and analysis of fires, explosions and arsons, or the litigation that ensues from such investigations. The opinions expressed in this paper do not necessarily reflect the opinion and beliefs of NAFI. Over the next three weeks, we will be sharing different views on Arc Mapping with our members and the industry – it is up to you to draw your own conclusions.

Week 1 – Arc Mapping: New Science or New Myth?
Week 2 – Arc Mapping as a Tool for Fire Investigations
Week 3 – Arc Mapping: A Review of Findings

The ATF Laboratory recently issued Special Bulletin No. 2 which offered a series of objections to the arc mapping review presented by this author earlier this year. This paper reviews the original research findings and explains the context of these findings. It then addresses in detail the comments made by ATF, and further addresses the concerns about arc mapping as currently used in the field. It reaffirms that the original findings are correct. It also shows that a new “ellipse” method proposed by the ATF for origin determination from arcing locations is not technically sound.

Download the complete paper here