Skip to main content

Resource Catalog


Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): Joe H. Scott
Publication Date: 2006

Quantitative scales of fire magnitude and intensity are needed to assess and publicly communicate the unbiased potential of wildland fire to cause effects-harm, damage, and ecological change. Such scales already exist for earthquakes (Richter Scale and Mercalli Scale), hurricanes (Saffir-Simpson Scale), tornadoes (Fujita Scale), and even near-Earth objects (Torino Impact Hazard Scale). This paper describes scaled measures of wildland fire magnitude and intensity based on heat release rate. Wildland fire intensity (I) is the common logarithm of Byram's fireline intensity (kW m-1); it ranges from 0 to about 5 for high-intensity fires, and is classified into 6 intensity classes. Wildland fire magnitude is the common logarithm of total fire flux (kW); it ranges from 0 to about 9 and is classified into 10 magnitude categories. Suggested procedures for estimating and simulating fire magnitude and intensity are provided.

Citation: Scott, Joe. H. 2006. Magnitude and Intensity scales for wildland fire - extended abstract. Presented at the 3rd International Fire Ecology and Management Conference, 13-17 November 2006, San Diego, CA.

Cataloging Information

Alaska    California    Eastern    Great Basin    Hawaii    Northern Rockies    Northwest    Rocky Mountain    Southern    Southwest    National
  • fire intensity
  • fire magnitude
  • quantitative scales
  • wildland fire
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 8230