November 14-17, 2011
Snowbird Resort, Utah



Monday, Nov. 14: 0830-1200

  1. The Wildland Fire Assessment Tool (WFAT) – A Tool to Spatially Model Wildland Fire Behavior and First Order Fire Effects

    WFAT provides an interface between ArcMap, FlamMap 5, and the First Order Fire Effects Model (FOFEM), combining their strengths into a spatial fire behavior and fire effects analysis tool in GIS. In the workshop, you will learn how to obtain input data from LANDFIRE and how to use WFAT to locate potential fuel treatment units, develop a prescription for those units, and evaluate the effect of their proposed treatment on potential fire behavior. WFAT saves fire managers the time and effort of converting data between multiple formats for use in ArcMap and FlamMap 5, and gives managers the option of using downloadable LANDFIRE layers ( as their input GIS layers.

    The workshop will begin with presentations describing the WFAT tool, followed by live demonstrations of the tools and plenty of time for students to engage in hands on modeling in GIS. The instructors will be available to help students acquire data for a desired study area and to set up the modeling parameters for running a variety of weather and fuel moisture scenarios. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop computer. Software, tutorials, and data examples will be provided at the workshop.


  2. A Suite of Fuel Management Tools: Fuel Characteristic Classification System, Natural Fuels Photo Series, Digital Photo Series, Consume, and Pile Calculator
    by Roger D. Ottmar*, Susan J. Prichard, Robert E. Vihnanek, and Clinton S. Wright
    Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Seattle, WA

    The Fire and Environmental Research Applications team (FERA) of the Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory has developed a suite of five fuel management products that will be demonstrated at this workshop. This suite includes the Fuel Characteristics Classification System (FCCS 2_2), Natural Fuels Photo Series, web-based Digital Photo Series, Consume 3_0, and a web-based pile calculator. These five tools work together and allow users to characterize fuelbeds, assess potential fire hazard and surface fire behavior, and estimate the amount of fuel consumed and emissions produced if burned during a wildland fire. A short discussion and demonstration will also occur on the integration of these tools into the web-based and stand alone application called the Fire and Fuels application (FFA)

    Fuel Characteristic Classification System (Version 2_2) is a user-friendly software program that allows users to access fuelbeds from a nation-wide library or create their own custom fuelbeds. FCCS fuelbeds were compiled from published literature, fuels photo series, fuels data sets and expert opinion. Users can modify FCCS fuelbeds to create a set of customized fuelbeds representing any scale of interest.

    When a user has completed editing fuelbed data, FCCS reports input and calculated fuel characteristics for each existing fuelbed component, from canopy fuels to ground fuels. FCCS also calculates the relative fire hazard of each fuelbed, including surface fire behavior, crown fire, and available fuel potentials, scaled on an index from 0 to 9. These FCCS fire potentials facilitate communication of fire hazard among users by providing an index of the intrinsic capacity of each fuelbed for surface fire behavior, crown fire and available consumption of fuels. All potentials assume dry benchmark environmental conditions (no slope, 4 mph midflame wind speed, and dry fuel moistures).

    FCCS predicts surface fire behavior, including reaction intensity (Btu ft-2 min-1), flame length (ft), and rate of spread (ft min-1), based either on dry benchmark environmental conditions or on those specified by the user. By comparing predicted flame length and rate of spread, FCCS provides a crosswalk between its fuelbeds, the original 13 Fire Behavior Prediction System fuel models, and the 40 standard fuel models. FCCS 2_2 also reports carbon storage by fuelbed category and subcategory and predicts the amount of combustible carbon in each category and subcategory based on selected fuel moisture scenarios. Visit the FCCS 2_2 Website for more information.


Monday, Nov. 14: 1330-1700

  1. Fire Regime Condition Class: Concepts, Methods, and Applications

    Workshop presenters: Stephen W. Barrett (Fire Ecology Consultant, National Interagency Fuels Technology Team, Kalispell, MT), Doug Havlina (Fire Ecologist, Bureau of Land Management, National Interagency Fire Center, Boise, ID, and FRCC Lead, National Interagency Fuels Technology Team), Wendel Hann (Fire Ecology Consultant, Habitat Trends, Gila NM ).

    The purpose of this presentation is to describe the Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC) ecological assessment system from inception to date. Since the late 1990s, the Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC) assessment system has provided natural resource managers with field- and GIS-based tools for assessing ecological departure at the landscape and stand scales.

    For a given biophysical setting, an FRCC assessment compares fire regimes (frequency and severity) in tandem with vegetation seral stages between the reference (historical) versus current periods. Percent departure from reference values are then classified as follows. FRCC 1 represents ecosystems with low (<33 percent) departure from a defined reference period, that is, landscapes that are still within the natural or historical range of variability. FRCC 2 represents ecosystems that exhibit moderate (33 to 66 percent) departure, and FRCC 3 indicates ecosystems that exhibit high (>66 percent) departure from reference conditions.

    FRCC assessments provide both consistency and quantifiability for determining landscape conditions. Estimates of stand scale conditions also can be produced to help satisfy treatment reporting requirements within Federal agencies.

    The Interagency FRCC Guidebook, currently at version 3.0, applies at a finer scale the FRCC concepts and definitions originally described by Hardy and others (2001), Hann and Bunnell (2001), and Schmidt and others (2002). The Guidebook initially was developed by an interagency working group teamed with The Nature Conservancy and managed by the National Interagency Fuels Coordination Group. The working group subsequently evolved into the National Interagency Fuels Technology Team (NIFTT), which continues to refine the FRCC methods, software, website, and other technology transfer tools in association with the Fire Monitoring and Inventory System (FIREMON) and in parallel with the LANDFIRE fire and fuels mapping project.

    User support, reference condition models, data entry forms, and associated FRCC software can be downloaded from or, and an FRCC helpdesk may be contacted by e-mail.

  2. Using the BehavePlus fire modeling system for prescribed fire planning

    Workshop presenters: Faith Ann Heinsch, Matt Jolly, US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory.

    The BehavePlus fire modeling system is the successor to BEHAVE, which was first available for field application in 1984. It continues to be an appropriate tool for many fire management applications including prescribed fire planning, fuel modeling, fuel hazard assessment, and projecting the behavior of an ongoing fire. BehavePlus can be effectively used to learn about specific fire models (such as transition to crown fire) that are included in spatial modeling systems where relationships are not as readily apparent.

    BehavePlus includes models for surface and crown fire spread and intensity, crown fire type, safety zone size, size and shape of a point source fire, containment requirements, spotting distance, scorch height, tree mortality, probability of ignition, and fine dead fuel moisture. Special features of the program include producing tables of acceptable fire conditions for fire prescriptions, exporting results for further analysis using a spreadsheet, developing workspaces for documentation files, and more. The program help system includes a description of the many input and output variables. That information is also available in a single reference document with many internal links.

    This interactive workshop provides an introduction to BehavePlus for those unfamiliar with the program, helping them determine if it meets their needs. Experienced BehavePlus users who will see helpful features, the newest modeling capabilities, and recently developed supporting material. Interactive exercises will allow users to explore BehavePlus features while using the program in a prescribed fire planning exercise.

    This is a hands-on workshop requiring a laptop computer. Participants should install the latest version of BehavePlus version 5 from before attending the workshop.