Charts for interpreting wildland fire behavior characteristics
Document Type: Report
Author(s): Patricia L. Andrews; Richard C. Rothermel
Publication Year: 1982

Cataloging Information

  • energy
  • fire danger rating
  • fire intensity
  • fire management planning
  • fire spread
  • fire weather
  • flame length
  • fuel types
  • heat
  • NFDRS - National Fire Danger Rating System
  • rate of spread
  • season of fire
  • statistical analysis
  • visual effects
  • wilderness fire management
  • wildfires
  • wildland fuels
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Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 5502
Tall Timbers Record Number: 7123
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


The fire characteristics chart is proposed as a graphical method of presenting two primary characteristics of fire behavior: spread rate and intensity. Its primary use is communicating and interpreting either site-specific predictions of fire behavior or National Fire-Danger Rating System (NF3RS) indexes and components. Rate of spread, heat per unit area, flame length, and fireline intensity are plotted on a fire behavior chart. Spread component, energy release component, and burning index are plotted on an NFDRS chart. Specific examples illustrate use of a fire characteristics chart in conjunction with fire prescriptions, fire behavior forecasts, fire .management plans, and briefings. The equations used in creating the charts are given; and a method of obtaining heat per unit area from fire behavior nomograms is illustrated.

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Link to this document (1.8 MB [OCR]; pdf-TreeSearch)
Link to this document (3.1 MB; pdf)
Andrews, Patricia L.; Rothermel, Richard C. 1982. Charts for interpreting wildland fire behavior characteristics. General Technical Report INT-GTR-131. Ogden, UT: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 21 p.

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