The use of low intensity fires is a key tool in the arsenal of the wildfire professional. Nevertheless, there are fundamental challenges to understanding how these fire spread and consequently these fires present significant challenges to the application and use of existing fire spread models. This presentation will discuss the research approach taken to measure fire phenomena across multiple scales to study the ignition and spread of low intensity wildfires. The talk will discuss the use of laboratory-scale investigation to improve repeatability of experiments and to allow enhanced control over variabilities in the fuel and the environment - two key challenges when undertaking experimental fires in the field. The talk will touch on how measurements made in the laboratory can be applied at the field scale and vice versa. This will highlight the need for a multidisciplinary approach to the understanding of fire spread. In addition, the measurement of fundamental fuel characteristics and understanding their variabilities are necessary inputs for physics based fire models. Studying the fire processes in this way is key to understanding which mechanisms govern the spread of low intensity fires. This has direct implications the development of simplified spread and risk models.