Estimating wildfire behavior and effects
Document Type: Report
Author(s): Frank A. Albini
Publication Year: 1976

Cataloging Information

  • computer program
  • fire behavior model
  • fire control
  • fire danger rating
  • fire management
  • fire suppression
  • wildfires
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Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 5588
Tall Timbers Record Number: 597
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.


This paper presents a brief survey of the research literature on wildfire behavior and effects and assembles formulae and graphical computation aids based on selected theoretical and empirical models. The uses of mathematical fire behavior models are discussed, and the general capabilities and limitations of currently available models are outlined. Rothermel's fire spread model is used to develop nomographs for estimating rate of spread, reaction intensity, and flame length for a variety of "typical" fuel complexes, under widely variable conditions. Factors affecting spread rate and overall shape of a fire are quantified, as well as some fire effects such as crown scorching and duff removal. Appendices give more details of the formulations presented graphically in the text, including the definitions of terms used to quantify fire behavior and effects and tables of numerical factors for converting values to different units of measurement.

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Albini, Frank A. 1976. Estimating wildfire behavior and effects. General Technical Report INT-GTR-30. Ogden, UT: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 92 p.