Fire characteristics charts for fire behavior and U.S. fire danger rating
Document Type: Conference Proceedings
Author(s): Faith Ann Heinsch; Patricia L. Andrews
Editor(s): Dale D. Wade; Mikel L. Robinson
Publication Year: 2010

Cataloging Information

  • Burning Index
  • energy release
  • ERC - Energy Release Component
  • fire characteristics chart
  • fire spread
  • fireline intensity
  • flame length
  • heat per unit area
  • NFDRS - National Fire Danger Rating System
  • ROS - rate of spread
  • Spread Component
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Record Last Modified: December 13, 2016
FRAMES Record Number: 17521


The fire characteristics chart is a graphical method of presenting U.S. National Fire Danger Rating indices or primary surface or crown fire behavior characteristics. A desktop computer application has been developed to produce fire characteristics charts in a format suitable for inclusion in reports and presentations. Many options include change of scales, colors, labels, and legend. The fire danger fire characteristics chart displays the relationship among SC, ERC, and BI by plotting the three values as a single point. A chart can be used to compare years, months, weather stations, and fuel models. Indices calculated by FireFamilyPlus can be imported into the fire characteristics chart program. Surface and crown fire behavior charts are separate because a different flame length model is used for each. Plotted values can be observed rate of spread and flame length or calculated values from a program such as the BehavePlus fire modeling system. The charts can aid fire model understanding by comparing, for example, the effect of a change in fuel model or wind speed on fire behavior. Other applications include fire documentation, prescribed fire plans, and briefings.

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Heinsch, Faith A.; Andrews, Patricia L. 2010. Fire characteristics charts for fire behavior and U.S. fire danger rating. 15 p. In: Wade, Dale D.; Robinson, Mikel L. (eds.). Proceedings of 3rd Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference; 25-29 October 2010; Spokane, WA. Birmingham, AL: International Association of Wildland Fire.