Publications

This publications page has expanded beyond its initial purpose of describing the BehavePlus fire modeling system, the fire models that are included in BehavePlus, and related historical documents. We have created a summary table of BehavePlus models and citations [PDF].

These publications are available in PDF format in several ways:

  • PDF files without [OCR] or [PRI] designations were typically generated by the publisher and are fully searchable.
  • [PRI] files are PDF files obtained by scanning a paper copy and are retained in a 'pristine' format.
  • [OCR] files are scanned copies that have been subjected to 'Optical Character Recognition' conversion. They are searchable, but may contain typographical errors resulting from the OCR capture process.

To download publications, click the link to the FRAMES catalog record. A copy of the publication, if available, may then be downloaded directly from that page. To print PDF and OCR publications without the attached warning label (if it exists), select Document under Comments and Forms on the Print window in Adobe® Reader.

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This paper describes the development history and application of BehavePlus. The design, features and modeling foundation of the current system are described.

Andrews, Patricia L. 2013. Current status and future needs of the BehavePlus Fire Modeling System. International Journal of Wildland Fire 23(1):21-33.

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This paper is an overview of BehavePlus. It includes a description of the relationship of BehavePlus to other fire behavior systems and a table of the mathematical models that form the basis of the system.

Andrews, Patricia L. 2007. BehavePlus fire modeling system: past, present, and future. In: Proceedings of 7thSymposium on Fire and Forest Meteorological Society. 2007 October 23-25; Bar Harbor, ME. Boston, MA: American meteorological Society.

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The Features Paper helps users better understand BehavePlus and use it more effectively. It is based in part on material in the self-study lessons regarding program operation available on the Training page.

Heinsch, Faith Ann; Andrews, Patricia L. 2010. BehavePlus fire modeling system, version 5.0: Design and Features. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-249. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 111 p.

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The Variables Paper is a reference document that describes the 189 variables in BehavePlus, with information on input and output relationships. It is packaged with the program and is accessible via the Help button.

Andrews, Patricia L. 2009. BehavePlus fire modeling system, version 5.0: variables. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-213WWW Revised. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 111 p.

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The User's Guide describes operation of the BehavePlus program. It does not describe specific modeling capabilities of the system. It is packaged with the program and is accessible via the Help button. The User's Guide was not updated for version 5.0 because basic program operation has not changed; the version 4.0 publication is still valid.

Andrews, Patricia L.; Bevins, Collin D.; Seli, Robert C. 2008. BehavePlus fire modeling system, version 4.0: user's guide. General Technical Report, RMRS-GTR-106WWW Revised. Ogden, UT: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 123 p.

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Andrews, Patricia L. 2010. Do you BEHAVE? - Application of the BehavePlus fire modeling system. 17 p. In: Wade, Dale D.; Robinson, Mikel L. (eds.). Proceedings of 3rd Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference; 25-29 October 2010; Spokane, WA. Birmingham, AL: International Association of Wildland Fire. 

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This BehavePlus (version 5) poster is posted in the hall at the Missoula Fire Lab. It is a brief overview for visitors.

Andrews, Patricia L.; Bevins, Collin D. 2010. BehavePlus fire modeling system - poster. Missoula, MT: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.

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This poster is an overview of BehavePlus. It includes a brief description of each module.

Andrews, Patricia L.; Bevins, Collin D.; Seli, Robert C. 2007. BehavePlus fire modeling system, version 4.0 overview - poster. In: 2nd Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference: The Fire Environment-Innovations, Management, and Policy. 26-30 March 2007, Destin, Florida. Missoula, MT: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory. 

The poster can be downloaded as a PDF, or a larger version of the poster can be downloaded for Microsoft PowerPoint.

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This poster is an overview of application of BehavePlus to prescribed fire planning.

Andrews, Patricia L.; Kelley, Tobin M. 2007. Use of the BehavePlus fire modeling system for prescribed fire planning - poster. In: 2nd Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference: The Fire Environment? Innovations, Management, and Policy, 26-30 March 2007, Destin, Florida. Missoula, MT: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory. 

The poster can be downloaded as a PDF, or a larger version of the poster can be downloaded for Microsoft PowerPoint.

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The basics of fire behavior prediction are described in this publication.

Rothermel, Richard C. 1983. How to predict the spread and intensity of forest and range fires. General Technical Report INT-GTR-143. Ogden, UT: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 161 p.

 

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Nomographs (nomograms) were developed by Albini (1976). They were reformatted by Rothermel (1983) to use midflame rather than 20-ft wind and with an added heat per unit area axis label. A correction was made to the fuel model 7 nomogram in 1991 and is included in this version of the nomograms.

Rothermel, Richard C. 1992. Fire behavior nomograms. Appendix A excerpted from How to Predict the Spread and Intensity of Forest and Range Fuels. PMS 436-3, NFES 2220. Boise, ID: National Wildfire Coordinating Group. 28 p.

Note: The full document may take a long time to load. Individual fuel model nomographs (nomograms) may be downloaded below (a conversion to the OCR form is not meaningful for this document).

Grass Group

Brush Group

Timber Group

Logging Slash Group

 

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A new form of nomographs was developed for the original 13 and the new 40 standard fire behavior fuel models.

Scott, Joe H. 2007. Nomographs for estimating surface fire behavior characteristics. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-192. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 119 p.

 

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The surface fire spread model is for steady-state spread. This paper describes considerations when the ignition pattern is used to affect fire behavior.

Rothermel, Richard C. 1984. Fire behavior consideration of aerial ignition. Pages 143-158. In: Workshop: Prescribed Fire by Aerial Ignition, October 30 - November 1, 1984, Missoula, MT. Missoula, MT: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Intermountain Fire Sciences Laboratory. 16 p.

 

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Rothermel, Richard C.; Rinehart, George C. 1983. Field procedures for verification and adjustment of fire behavior predictions. General Technical Report INT-GTR-142. Ogden, UT: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experimental Station. 25 p.

 

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Wells, Gail. 2008. The Rothermel fire-spread model: still running like a champ. JFSP Fire Science Digest. March 2008(2):1-12. 


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Albini, Frank A. 1984. Wildland fires: Predicting the behavior of wildland fires-among nature's most potent forces-can save lives, money, and natural resources. American Scientist. 72(6):590-597.

 

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Andrews, Patricia L.; Finney, Mark A.; Fischetti, Mark. 2007. Predicting wildfires. Scientific American August:47-55.

 

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The first four chapters of the book "Introduction to Wildland Fire" comprise the section "Fire Environment" (warning: this document may take a long time to load):

Links to pdf versions of individual chapters are provided below:
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The 13 standard fire behavior fuel models are described.

Anderson, Hal E. 1982. Aids to determining fuel models for estimating fire behavior. General Technical Report INT-GTR-122. Boise, ID: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experimental Station. 22 p.

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The 40 additional standard fire behavior fuel models are described.

Scott, Joe H.; Burgan, Robert E. 2005. Standard fire behavior fuel models: a comprehensive set for use with Rothermel's surface fire spread model. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-153. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 72 p. 

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A special case 'fuel model' was developed for Palmetto-Gallberry. It is an option in BehavePlus.

Hough, W. A.; Albini, Frank A. 1978. Predicting fire behavior in palmetto-gallberry fuel complexes. Research Paper SE-RP-174. Asheville, NC: USDA Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. 46 p.

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A special case 'fuel model' was developed for western aspen. The publication includes photographs and fire modeling methods.

Brown, James K.; Simmerman, Dennis G. 1986. Appraising fuels and flammability in western aspen: a prescribed fire guide. General Technical Report INT-GTR-205. Ogden, UT: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 48 p.

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Five custom chaparral fuel models are available with BehavePlus in the SoCalifornia folder.

Weise, David. 1997. Fuel modeling efforts for chaparral. Resource Management: The Fire Element Spr/Sum: 4-5.


BehavePlus offers three methods for modeling spread through two fuel models. The 'area weighted' method was used in the old BEHAVE system. The '2-dimensional expected spread' is the recommended method.
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Finney, Mark A. 2003. Calculation of fire spread rates across random landscapes. International Journal of Wildland Fire 12(2):167-174. 
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This paper describes the method of modeling spread through two fuel models called 'harmonic mean'.

Fujioka, Francis M. 1985. Estimating wildland fire rate of spread in a spatially non-uniform environment. Forest Science 31(1):21-29.

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Information from this paper is used in the BehavePlus Help System description of canopy bulk density.

Scott, Joe H.; Reinhardt, Elizabeth D. 2005. Stereo photo guide for estimating canopy fuel characteristics in conifer stands. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-145. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 49 p.

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Fahnestock, George R. 1970. Two keys for appraising forest fire fuels. Research Paper PNW-RP-99. Portland, OR: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 26 p.
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Schroeder, Mark J.; Buck, Charles C. 1970. Fire weather - a guide for application of meteorological information to forest fire control operations. Agriculture Handbook 360, PMS 425-1. Washington, D.C.: USDA Forest Service. 229 p. 

Links to pdf versions of individual chapters are provided below:

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Barrows, Jack S. 1951. Fire behavior in Northern Rocky Mountain Forests. Station Paper 29. Missoula, MT: USDA Forest Service, Northern Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 134 p.
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Anonymous. [Unknown date]. Hot facts of life on the fire line. Missoula, MT: USDA Forest Service, Northern Region. 16 p.

We suspect this document was developed during the World War II era because of the following statement, found on page 1: "The fellow who used to fight fires has gone to war.... IT'S UP TO YOU. IT'S YOUR WAR JOB." More specifically, the document was most likely written between 1942 and 1945, since the first operational smokejumper fire jumps were made in 1940 (First Parachute Years, Missoula Smokejumpers) and cuffless "victory" trousers were mandated by the War Production Board, which was established in 1942. (Goodwin, 1994. No Ordinary Time. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II). The War Production Board was disbanded in 1945, shortly after the war ended (Wikipedia).

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Jones, Stuart E.; Johnston, Jay. 1968. Forest fires: the devil's picnic. National Geographic July: 100-127.

 


The following 13 publications are part of a group designed to describe important concepts of fire behavior and the application of these concepts to wildland fire problems. The level of difficulty is signaled by the color of the cover: the blue cover group is generally elementary and the yellow cover group is generally intermediate.
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Countryman, Clive M. 1971. This humidity business: what it is all about and its use in fire control (blue cover). Berkeley, CA: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 18 p.

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Countryman, Clive M. 1971. Fire whirls...why, when, and where (blue cover). Berkeley, CA: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 14 p.
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Countryman, Clive M. 1971. Carbon monoxide: a firefighting hazard (yellow cover). Berkeley, CA: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 8 p.
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Countryman, Clive M. 1972. The fire environment concept. Berkeley, CA: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 15 p.
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Countryman, Clive M. 1975-1976. Heat — its role in wildland fire (blue cover). Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 
  Part 1: the nature of heat
  Part 2: heat conduction
  Part 3: heat conduction and wildland fire 
  Part 4: radiation
  Part 5: radiation and wildland fire
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Countryman, Clive M. 1977-1978. Heat and wildland fire (yellow cover). Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station.
  Part 1: the nature of heat
  Part 2: heat conduction
  Part 3: heat conduction and wildland fire
  Part 4: radiation

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