Technical background of the FireLine Assessment MEthod (FLAME)
Document Type: Conference Proceedings
Author(s): Jim Bishop
Editor(s): Bret W. Butler; Wayne A. Cook
Publication Year: 2007

Cataloging Information

  • FLAME - FireLine Assessment MEthod
  • LCES - Lookouts - Communications - Escape Routes - Safety Zones
  • ROS - rate of spread
  • wildland fire management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: December 13, 2016
FRAMES Record Number: 7410


The FireLine Assessment MEthod (FLAME) provides a fireline-practical tool for predicting significant changes in fire rate-of-spread (ROS). FLAME addresses the dominant drivers of large, short-term change: effective windspeed, fuel type, and fine-fuel moisture. Primary output is the ROS-ratio, expressing the degree of change in ROS. The application process guides and instills a systematic methodology, utilizing a simple worksheet. The information developed provides a basis for safety judgments and for applying Lookouts, Communications, Escape routes, Safe zones (LCES). The ROS-ratio can be applied to observed fire spread to provide a timeline of future fire spread. Compared to four BehavePlus examples FLAME is accurate to within an average error of 14 percent. In four fireline-fatality cases FLAME predictions match reconstructed ROS-ratios with an average error of 9 percent, and in every case could have foretold the rapid changes that impacted the crews. Adjustment factors are developed to account for variations of windspeed across terrain, and for flame height and sheltering by vegetation. Field application of FLAME is explained and demonstrated with examples.

Online Link(s):
Bishop, Jim. 2007. Technical background of the FireLine Assessment MEthod (FLAME). Pages 27-74 In: Butler, Bret W.; Cook, Wayne (comps.). The fire environment-innovations, management, and policy; conference proceedings. 26-30 March 2007; Destin, FL. Proceedings RMRS-P-46CD. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.