The official blog of the Joint Fire Science Program

The official blog of, the Interagency Joint Fire Science Program.

October 27, 2012

LANDFIRE: Is it for me?

Maybe. If you are engaged in research or fire and land management activities that require vegetation, fuel or fire regime information, LANDFIRE may be for you.

LANDFIRE is an ongoing national program that is producing continuous vegetation-and fire- related spatial data and ecological models for the entire United States. That’s wall-to-wall data for all 50 states, served for free on the LANDFIRE Data Distribution site and through the LANDFIRE Data Access Tool.

If you already have high-quality, up-to-date spatial data and ecological models for all the variables you want across your area of interest, LANDFIRE is probably not for you. Most folks are not so lucky, finding that they have no data, old data, are missing some variables, or need to fill data gaps (e.g. on private lands). If the latter describes you, read on.

LANDFIRE National Fire Regime Groups / Cartographer: Sarah Hagen

LANDFIRE has proven useful for a variety of fire management and natural resource management activities including:

Regional and National Level Wildland Fire 
Planning and Prioritization
LANDFIRE fuel and vegetation layers are used to support Fire Program Analysis (FPA), Hazardous Fuels Prioritization and Allocation System (HFPAS) and the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy.

Incident Management
LANDFIRE’s fuel products include all the geospatial layers required to run tools such as FlamMap, FARSITE and FSPro. These data have provided decision support information to fire managers working on wildfire incidents around the country. For example:

Fuel Planning and Prioritization
The Signal Peak Project, Upper Mimbres Watershed Landscape Assessment and Spokane Agency Multi-Year Fuels Planning Project each used LANDFIRE fuels data to model fire behavior in support of fuel planning and prioritization efforts.

Community Wildfire Protection Planning
The Cowychee Mountain CWPP and the Upper Fraser Valley CWPP plans both used LANDFIRE fuel data to model potential fire behavior in their planning area.

LANDFIRE products were developed to support national and regional level analyses, but may also be useful at local scales. In the end there is only one way to find out if LANDFIRE will work for you, and that is to inspect the data yourself. This doesn’t have to be a daunting task-- our next post will tell you how!

fire ecologist
The Nature Conservancy
Bend, Oregon