A fire characteristics chart is a graph that presents primary related fire behavior characteristics-rate of spread, flame length, fireline intensity, and heat per unit area. It helps communicate and interpret modeled or observed fire behavior. The Fire Characteristics Chart computer program plots either observed fire behavior or values that have been calculated by another computer program such as the BehavePlus fire modeling system. Program operation is described in this report, and its flexibility in format, color, and labeling is demonstrated for use in a variety of reports. A chart produced by the program is suitable for inclusion in briefings, reports, and presentations. Example applications are given for fire model understanding, observed crown fire behavior, ignition pattern effect on fire behavior, prescribed fire planning, briefings, and case studies. The mathematical foundation for the charts is also described. Separate charts are available for surface fire and crown fire because of differences in the flame length model used for each.