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What is Behave?

The Behave fire modeling system is a Windows® based computer program that is used to predict fire behavior in multiple situations.

Behave can be used for any fire management application that involves modeling fire behavior and some fire effects.

The system is composed of a collection of mathematical models that describe fire behavior and the fire environment.

The program simulates rate of fire spread, spotting distance, scorch height, tree mortality, fuel moisture, wind adjustment factor, as well as other variables.

Fire Modeling in a Nutshell

Point and spatial fire modeling systems use the same fire behavior models under the hood. Behave is a point system that calculates fire behavior for an area (or point) with homogeneous fuels. FlamMap is an example of a spatial fire behavior system. To give you an idea of how they work together, you can think of each pixel in FlamMap Basic Fire Behavior as being a single Behave run. Certain outputs are only available in Behave, such as the containment equations and four different models to calculate maximum spotting distance.

What's New?

Behave v7 will be available in the spring of 2024. This version has a completely redesigned user interface, updated equations for contain, and shares code with FlamMap to provide consistent outputs for point and spatial modeling systems. Behave7 will offer most of the same functionality of v6 but is more intuitive to use for both experienced and new users. It will continue to run offline for users with limited connectivity.


January 2024 Notice: BehavePlus v6 does not print!

This zip file contains a document describing the issue and some old training documents showing workarounds.

If you're a USFS employee, install BehavePlus from the Software Center using the instructions outlined in this document.

For support, make sure to review the Frequently Asked Questions document and take a few minutes and read the Known Bugs document.

If none of these resources help you, then contact the USDA Forest Service Fire and Aviation Interagency Incident Applications (IIA) HelpDesk, aka the Fire Applications Help Desk.

The IIA HelpDesk is available for help with software issues only and cannot answer fire behavior questions.

Current Software

Until the launch of Behave7, these are the most current versions of BehavePlus 6.

BehavePlus 6.0.0 Beta 3 (Build 626)

Fire Characteristics Chart Version 2.13

NOTE: There are specific BehavePlus installation instructions for USFS employees, and USFS employees should install the Fire Characteristics Chart from the Software Center.

Online Training for 6.0

Surface Fire 2021

Take this course first. It is useful for anyone wanting to learn how to navigate through Behave. The Surface Fire course requires a basic understanding of fire behavior.

Prescribed Fire 2021

This course includes explanations and applications of Behave modules and how they apply to the different elements of the Interagency Prescribed Fire Planning and Implementation Procedures Guide (NWCG PMS-484).

Crown Fire 2021

This course covers assumptions, limitations, and use of the CROWN module in Behave.