Tips and Training Materials


Tips, Tricks, and Information:

We have developed a number of tips for using BehavePlus more effectively: Tips and Tricks [PDF]

We have developed materials to prepare students for Advanced Fire Behavior Calculations (S-490), including an introduction to the BehavePlus fire modeling system: Recordings and Resources [web page]

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Training Materials:

Lessons have been developed to aid users in more effectively using BehavePlus. These lessons can be used singly or in combination to meet specific needs. They are not organized into a BehavePlus "course." If you are unfamiliar with BehavePlus operation, please review the four lessons in the Introduction Unit.

Lessons are organized according to Units:

  • Overview - General overview of BehavePlus
  • Introduction – Four required lessons that provide the foundation for program operation
  • Operation – Optional lessons that cover various aspects of operation
  • Modeling – Optional lessons that describe modeling capabilities, limitations, assumptions, and sensitivity

Overview

  • Lessons in the Overview Unit address questions such as: What is BehavePlus? What can it do? Does it suit your needs? Is there a need for you to continue with training to learn more?
  • Some Overview lessons are optional.
  • The course manager can select lessons to suit specific needs.

Download: Complete copy of the self-study Overview lessons with exercises and supporting material (ZIP; 14.3 MB). Individual lessons can be downloaded below.

 
BehavePlus Overview

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Understand the relationship of BehavePlus to other fire behavior systems: FlamMap, FARSITE, and FSPro.
  2. Understand the relationship of BEHAVE to BehavePlus.
  3. See an overview of the fire modeling capabilities of BehavePlus.
  4. See ideas regarding the future of BehavePlus.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 6.8 MB)

  • Lesson
  • Presentation
  • Short Paper (Andrews, 2007a)
  • Poster (8½" x 11"; Andrews, 2007b)

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

BehavePlus Update

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Review the status of BehavePlus version 5.0.
  2. List some of the changes from version 3 to version 4 and from version 4 to version 5.
  3. Demonstrate how to obtain new training material.
  4. Demonstrate how to register for News on firemodels.org.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 1.2 MB)

  • Lesson
  • Presentation
  • Version Comparison - All
  • Changes-V4 to V5
  • Changes-V3 to V4

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

Before You Start with Fire Modeling

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Differentiate the relative roles of fire modeling results and user experience.
  2. Identify common pitfalls when modeling fire behavior.
  3. Identify the five major categories of fire behavior modeling inputs required in BehavePlus.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 117 KB)

  • Lesson

Date of Last Change: July 13, 2011

Modeling Capabilities

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Explore the nine BehavePlus modules.
  2. Examine input options for each module.
  3. Identify the outputs available from each module.
  4. Discuss the five stand-alone tools available in BehavePlus.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 3.5 MB)

  • Lesson

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

BehavePlus for Prescribed Fire

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Demonstrate the modeling capabilities of BehavePlus that can be applied to prescribed fire plans.
  2. Acknowledge the role of models and of experience.
  3. Recognize that the user is responsible for proper application of models with all of their limitations.
  4. See examples of the table shading option of BehavePlus which can be used to examine tradeoffs that lead to acceptable fire conditions.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 2.7 MB)

  • Lesson
  • Presentation
  • Poster (8½" x 11"; Andrews, 2007c)

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

Introduction

  • The four lessons must be completed in order to develop basic skills in program operation.
  • The lessons in the Introduction Unit are required. They are prerequisite lessons for the Operation, Modeling, and Applications Units.
  • The focus of this unit is on program operation and not on modeling concepts.
  • The lessons address button pushing, which is a small part of the BehavePlus skill set.
  • These four lessons can be used as pre-work for an instructor led course.

Download: Complete copy of the Introduction self-study lessons 1-4 with exercises and supporting material (ZIP; 6.5 MB). Individual lessons can be downloaded below.

 
1 - Basic Start

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Enter values in a Worksheet.
  2. View the information available in the help window.
  3. Calculate a Run to produce tables and graphs.
  4. Change inputs and produce new tables and graphs.
  5. Use BehavePlus to examine the effect of fuel model, fuel moisture, wind, and slope on rate of spread and flame length.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 625 KB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

2 - Worksheets

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Employ the various program options that change the worksheet.
  2. Develop a new worksheet.
  3. Save a worksheet.
  4. Load a worksheet.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 1.8 MB)

  • Lesson
  • Handout
  • Exercise Answers

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

3 - Input Methods

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Identify the various ways to enter inputs on a worksheet.
  2. Save a Worksheet with inputs as a Run.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 1.6 MB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

4 - Calculations

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Produce results for single and multiple values for input variables.
  2. Understand differences in tables and graphs for continuous and discrete variable.
  3. Modify table and graph appearances through selection of row, column, and x-axis variables.
  4. Change graph and table appearance.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 2.2 MB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

Operation

  • The lessons in the Operations Unit go beyond those in the Introduction Unit and cover additional features offered by the program.
  • When necessary, prerequisites are identified in each lesson.
  • Many lessons are optional.
  • A course manager or user can select from Operation lessons to meet specific needs.

Download: Complete copy of the self-study Operation lessons with exercises and supporting material (ZIP; 29.7 MB). Individual lessons can be downloaded below.

 
Help, More Help and Desperate for Help

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Explore the User's Guide.
  2. View the contents of the Variables Paper.
  3. Identify additional publications about components of the BehavePlus fire modeling system.
  4. Tour the BehavePlus help system.
  5. Find help on the website: FireModels.org.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 16.7 MB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers
  • Anderson, 1982
  • Rothermel, 1972
  • Rothermel and Rinehart, 1983
  • Rothermel, 1983
  • Scott & Burgan, 2005
  • Scott & Reinhardt, 2005

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

Features

This could be used as an Overview Lesson.

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Demonstrate some of the features of the program.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 2.9 MB)

  • Lesson
  • Presentation

Date of Last Change: March 2, 2010

Worksheets (Advanced)

Prerequisite: Units and Decimals lesson

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Develop and save worksheets with changes in modules, options, units, decimal display, and appearance options.
  2. Define a worksheet as the startup worksheet.
  3. Open example worksheets that come with the program.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 523 KB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

BehavePlus Results in Written Reports

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Capture and insert portions of BehavePlus results into a Word document.
  2. Use the Description lines and Notes Section for documentation.
  3. Understand the importance of including the header on each BehavePlus page and of always attaching a complete list of inputs with the results.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 476 KB)

  • Lesson
  • B+ in Reports

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

File Management

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Describe the BehavePlus file structure.
  2. Define the components of a workspace.
  3. Create a new workspace.
  4. Open an existing workspace.
  5. Create and save files in a new workspace: worksheet, run, fuel model, and moisture scenario.
  6. Use Microsoft Explorer® to move files within the BehavePlus file structure.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 1.8 MB)

  • Lesson

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

Units and Decimals

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Switch between English and metric default units.
  2. Set the decimal display of input variables according to input values.
  3. Change units and decimals and save as a custom units set.
  4. Apply changes to the worksheet without saving a custom units set.
  5. Save a worksheet and run with custom units and decimals set.
  6. Use the Units converter Tool to convert individual values.
  7. Understand that the number of decimals displayed changes when the units set changes to avoid round-off problems.
  8. Use the FuelModeling.bpw or FuelModelingMetric.bpw worksheet for full display of fuel parameter variables.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 1.9 MB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009



Table Shading

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Practice implementation of the table shading option in BehavePlus.
  2. Define acceptable fire conditions within the program.
  3. Produce and interpret tables with crossed out and blank values.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 667 KB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

Export to Spreadsheet

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Export results as an HTML file.
  2. Open the HTML file as a spreadsheet for further analysis.
  3. Save the file as a spreadsheet.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 953 KB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

BehavePlus Tools

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Describe the six tools found in BehavePlus: Units Converter, Relative Humidity, Fine Dead Fuel Moisture, Slope from Map Measurements, Slope vs. Horizontal Map Distance, and Sun-Moon Calendar.
  2. Describe why outputs from tools are not integrated with BehavePlus worksheets.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in exporting results from tools.
  4. Describe the assumptions and limitations associated with the Fine Dead Fuel Moisture tool.
  5. Describe the relationship between the Slope from Map Measurements tool and the SURFACE module of BehavePlus.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 2.6 MB)

  • Lesson

Date of Last Change: February 16, 2011

Modeling

  • Lessons in the Modeling Unit address various modeling capabilities of BehavePlus.
  • Limitations and assumptions of the models are given.
  • Relationships of input values to results are shown.
  • These lessons assume that the trainee has skills with program operation.

Download: Complete copy of the self-study Modeling lessons with exercises and supporting material (ZIP; 20.9 MB). Individual lessons can be downloaded below.

 
Surface Fire Spread and Intensity

Lesson Objectives:

  1. List the assumptions and limitations of the Rothermel surface fire spread model.
  2. Describe the basic inputs for surface fire rate of spread and intensity.
  3. Practice calculations using the SURFACE module.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 671 KB)

  • Lesson

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

Surface Fuel

Introduction to the following seven surface fuel lessons

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Describe the methods of specifying fuel description for Rothermel’s surface fire spread model, which is in the SURFACE module.
  2. Describe standard fire behavior fuel models, custom fuel models, dynamic fuel models, two fuel model weighting options, and special case fuel models.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 1.6 MB)

  • Lesson

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

Standard Fuel Models

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Identify the standard fuel models and their use.
  2. Describe the basics of dynamic fuel models.
  3. Compare many fuel models in one Run.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 749 KB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

Custom Fuel Models

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Use a previously saved custom fuel model.
  2. Change a standard fuel model and save it as a custom fuel model.
  3. Compare a new custom fuel model to an existing fuel model.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 1.0 MB)

  • Lesson

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

Dynamic Fuel Models (Planned)

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Define 'dynamic' fuel models.
  2. Show the load transfer function.
  3. Describe the direct entry of curing level.

Downloads and Handouts:

Will be available at a future date.

Two Fuel Models

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Describe the proper application of weighting of two fuel models.
  2. Identify three methods of two fuel model weighting.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 839 KB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers

Date of Last Change: August 9, 2011

Special Case Fuel Models — Palmetto-Gallberry (Planned)

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Identify the difference between a 'special case' fuel model and standard and custom fuel models.
  2. List input values for the P-G fuel model.
  3. Show output variables for the P-G model.

Downloads and Handouts:

Will be available at a future date.

Special Case Fuel Models — Western Aspen

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Identify the difference between a 'special case' fuel model and standard and custom fuel models.
  2. List input values for the western Aspen fuel model.
  3. Show output variables for the western Aspen model.
  4. Calculate aspen mortality.
  5. Contrast aspen curing level to curing level for dynamic fuel models.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 1.4 MB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers

Date of Last Change: April 7, 2010

Fuel Moisture Overview

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Review basic concepts of dead and live fuel moisture in fire behavior modeling.
  2. Use the Help system to determine the role of fuel moisture variables in various BehavePlus calculation modules.
  3. Describe options for specifying fuel moisture for Rothermel’s surface fire spread model, which is in the SURFACE module.
  4. Discuss the role of live fuel moisture in dynamic fuel models.
  5. Define characteristic fuel moisture and describe its role in modeling surface fire behavior.
  6. Define dead and live moisture of extinction and examine its role in modeling surface fire behavior.
  7. Examine the role of foliar moisture and surface fuel moisture in modeling crown fire behavior in the CROWN module.
  8. Examine the role of fuel moisture in calculating probability of ignition in the IGNITE module.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 1.4 MB)

  • Lesson

Date of Last Change: July 17, 2015

 

 

Dead Fuel Moisture

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Describe the three options for inputting fuel moisture into the SURFACE module.
  2. Contrast the relative influence of 1-h, 10-h, and 100-h dead fuel moisture on surface fire behavior.
  3. Apply the dead and live fuel moisture input option.
  4. Estimate fine dead fuel moisture using tables from the Fireline Handbook as implemented as a BehavePlus tool.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 2.4 MB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers

Date of Last Change: July 21, 2015

 

Live Fuel Moisture (Planned)

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Evaluate the role of live fuel moisture in the surface fire spread model.
  2. Examine the effect of live herbaceous fuel moisture in dynamic fuel models.
  3. Identify the guidelines for live fuel moisture according to Rothermel (1983) compared to curing level guidelines.
  4. Explain the role of foliar moisture in crown fire modeling.

Downloads and Handouts:

Will be available at a future date.

 

Moisture Scenarios

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Define a moisture scenario.
  2. View the fuel moisture parameters of a moisture scenario.
  3. Describe application of moisture scenarios.
  4. Set the BehavePlus input option to use moisture scenarios.
  5. Describe the moisture scenario sets that are available in BehavePlus.
  6. Use the Scott and Burgan (2005) moisture scenarios to compare standard fuel models.
  7. Develop and save a moisture scenario.
  8. Load and use a saved moisture scenario.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 2.0 MB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers
  • Scott & Burgan, 2005

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

Slope

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Discuss the effect of slope on surface fire spread.
  2. Explain the relationship of slope to effective wind speed.
  3. Calculate slope steepness from map measurements.
  4. Calculate horizontal map distance from slope map distance, maximum slope steepness, and direction with respect to slope.
  5. Describe why slope steepness is not used in the calculation of crown fire behavior in BehavePlus.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 2.6 MB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers

Date of Last Change: January 26, 2011

Wind (Planned)

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Relate effect of wind on surface rate of spread.
  2. Compare 20-ft, 10-m, and midflame winds.
  3. Interpret maximum reliable wind speed.
  4. Examine variation of wind speed and gusts.

Downloads and Handouts:

Will be available at a future date.

Wind Adjustment Factor

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Distinguish the different methods of applying a Wind Adjustment Factor in a BehavePlus run.
  2. Examine how Wind Adjustment Factors are calculated.
  3. Identify the inputs required to calculate a Wind Adjustment Factor.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 1.3 MB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers

Date of Last Change: May 28, 2010

Directions

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Change input options for the direction of spread and wind.
  2. Compare the results of different direction option selections.
  3. Develop and save worksheets and runs for the two wind direction options.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 776 KB)

  • Lesson

Date of Last Change: November 13, 2009

Overstory Vegetation (Planned)

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Show the variables that describe the overstory in BehavePlus.
  2. Describe the role of overstory variables in various modules.
  3. Compare stand vs. tree descriptions.
  4. Judge reality vs. models.

Downloads and Handouts:

Will be available at a future date.

Crown Fire Spread

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Understand how crown fire spread and transition from surface to crown fire is modeled in BehavePlus.
  2. Create a worksheet that produces a CROWN run to evaluate crown fire spread rate, area, and perimeter.
  3. Understand transition ratio, active ratio and their relationship to fire type (surface, torching, crowning, or conditional crown).
  4. Correctly interpret BehavePlus crown fire runs.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 1.1 MB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers

Date of Last Change: August 12, 2011



Crown Fire Intensity

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Understand how crown fireline intensity and flame length are modeled in BehavePlus.
  2. Create a worksheet that produces a CROWN run to evaluate crown fire intensity and flame length.
  3. Understand power of the fire, power of the wind, and their relationship to wind-driven and plume-dominated fire.
  4. Correctly interpret BehavePlus crown fire runs.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 852 KB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers

Date of Last Change: August 12, 2011

Safety Zone Size

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Define safety zone model assumptions and limitations.
  2. Describe input and output variables for SAFETY.
  3. Calculate safety zone separation distance, size, and radius for surface and crown fire using direct entry of flame length.
  4. Calculate safety zone size using surface fire flame length calculated in SURFACE.
  5. Demonstrate that head fire flame length is used to calculate safety zone size even if SURFACE calculations are for other directions.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 1.9 MB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers
  • Butler & Forthofer, 2002

Date of Last Change: July 9, 2010



Scorch and Mortality

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Calculate scorch height from surface fire.
  2. Compare the role of wind in flame length calculation and in flame tilt as it affects scorch height.
  3. Describe the calculation of tree mortality from crown scorch.
  4. Demonstrate tree mortality calculations.
  5. Discuss the role of bark thickness.
  6. Discuss the updates to Version 5.0.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 934 KB)

  • Lesson

Date of Last Change: April 7, 2010

Spotting and Ignition

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Calculate spotting distance from torching trees, a burning pile, and wind-driven surface fire.
  2. Calculate probability of ignition from a firebrand.
  3. Calculate probability of ignition from lightning.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 1.7 MB)

  • Lesson
  • Exercise Answers

Date of Last Change: January 26, 2011

Size

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Describe the elliptical fire shape model.
  2. Define the inputs and outputs of SIZE as an independent module.
  3. Use outputs from SURFACE as inputs to SIZE (linked modules).
  4. Calculate the size and shape of a crown fire in the CROWN module.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 743 KB)

  • Lesson

Date of Last Change: January 26, 2011

Contain

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Define the containment model assumptions and limitations.
  2. Describe the input and output variables for CONTAIN.
  3. Describe the input options for single or multiple resources.
  4. Use CONTAIN as an independent module.
  5. Use SURFACE and SIZE to model surface rate of spread and fire size at attack.

Downloads and Handouts: (ZIP 898 KB)

  • Lesson

Date of Last Change: July 13, 2011

Document Notes Download
Example Pre-work Instructions Example guidance to trainee who is asked to do pre-work for a course. To be edited by the course coordinator. DOC
Example Workshop Introduction Example introduction of workshop topics. To be edited by presenter. PPT
PDF
Example Course Agendas These are examples that include some lessons that are still under development. Check back for updates. Please send us your suggestions. DOC
Certificate of Completion There is not a formal standard for acceptable completion of BehavePlus training. These certificates can be used at the discretion of the course manager (or, a self-study person can present it to her or himself.). PPT
Date Category Change
August 11, 2011 Lesson Update and New Lesson The Modeling > Crown Fire Spread lesson has been updated.
The Modeling > Crown Fire Intensity Lesson is now available.
August 9, 2011 Lesson Update The Modeling > Two Fuel Models lesson was updated with screen capture changes and exercise answers.
July 13, 2011 New Lessons Two new lessons are available:
Overview > Before You Start with Fire Modeling
Modeling > Contain
February 16, 2011 New Lesson A new lesson is available:
Operation > BehavePlus Tools
January 26, 2011 New Lessons Three new lessons are available:
Modeling > Slope
Modeling > Spotting and Ignition
Modeling > Size
July 9, 2010 New Lesson A new lesson is available:
Modeling > Safety Zone Size
April 7, 2010 New Lessons New lessons are available with the version 5.0 release:
Modeling > Special Case Fuel Model - Western Aspen
Modeling > Scorch and Mortality
March 2, 2010 New Lesson A new lesson is available for Version 5.0: Features Lesson.
A note on the first page of each lesson indicates the extent of the update.
November 12, 2009 Lesson Updates All lessons were updated for Version 5.0.
For some, only headers and footers were changed.
Major updates were required for others.
A note on the first page of each lesson indicates the extent of the update.
Many screen captures are still from Version 4.0.
November 12, 2009 New Lessons New lessons are available with the version 5.0 release:
Modeling > Surface Fuel
Modeling > Two Fuel Models
May 8, 2017 New Lessons Two new lessons are available:
Modeling > Fuel Moisture Overview
Modeling > Dead Fuel Moisture

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