Crown Fire Initiation and Spread Software (CFIS) System
Project Lead(s):

Cataloging Information

  • Canopy Fuel Stratum Characteristics Calculator
  • CFIS - Crown Fire Initiation and Spread System
  • crown fire behavior
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: November 16, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 10500


CFIS is a software tool incorporating several recently developed models designed to simulate crown fire behavior. The main outputs of CFIS are: 1) the likelihood of crown fire initiation or occurrence; 2) the type of crown fire (active vs. passive) and its rate of spread; and 3) the minimum spotting distance required to increase a fire's overall forward rate of spread. The onset of crowning can be predicted through two distinct approaches. One approach relies on the knowledge of canopy base height and certain components of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index System and/or the 10-m open wind speed. The other approach requires the 10-m open wind, the estimated fine fuel moisture, fuel strata gap (or canopy base height), and an estimate of surface fuel consumption as inputs. Required inputs to predict crown fire rate of spread are 10-m open wind speed, estimated fine fuel moisture, and canopy bulk density. The minimum spotting distance to affect overall crown fire rate of spread, which assumes a point ignition and subsequent fire acceleration to an equilibrium rate of spread, requires the predicted crown fire spread rate and an ignition delay as inputs. The primary models incorporated into CFIS have been evaluated against experimental and wildfire observations. CFIS has applicability as a decision support aid in a wide variety of fire management activities ranging from near-real time prediction of fire behavior to analyzing the impacts of fuel treatments on potential crown fire behavior.

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