Understanding fire is essential to improving forest management strategies. More specifically, an accurate knowledge of the spatial distribution of fuels is critical when analyzing, modeling and predicting fire behavior. First, we review the main concepts and terminology associated with forest fuels and a number of fuel type classifications. Second, we summarize the main techniques employed to map fuel types starting with the most traditional approaches, such as field work, aerial photo interpretation or ecological modeling. We pay special attention to more contemporary techniques, which involve the use of remote sensing systems. In general, remote sensing systems are low-priced, can be regularly updated and are less time-consuming than traditional methods, but they are still facing important limitations. Recent work has shown that the integration of different sources of information and methods in a complementary way helps to overcome most of these limitations. Further research is encouraged to develop novel and enhanced remote sensing techniques.