This paper offers some suggestions and field guides with respect to the operational application of C.E. Van Wagner's (1997, Can. J. For. Res. 7:23-34) theory to calculate the threshold conditions for the start and spread of crown fires in conifer forests. Three categories of crowning are recognized (passive, active, and independent); they are determined by three crown fuel properties (live crown base height, foliar moisture content, and bulk density) and two characteristics of fire behavior (spread rate and surface intensity).
[This publication is referenced in the "Synthesis of knowledge of extreme fire behavior: volume I for fire managers" (Werth et al 2011).]