The official blog of the Joint Fire Science Program

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

November 29, 2012

LANDFIRE: How can I use it?

In our last post we tried to answer the question: “Is LANDFIRE for me?” Well, there is only one way to find out--inspect the data to determine if it has the qualities you need to meet your objectives. You don’t have to have a PhD in vegetation modeling or be a GIS guru to review LANDFIRE data. The LANDFIRE team has support materials and support staff to help you.

Remember that LANDFIRE datasets were developed for national and regional level strategic planning and reporting, but because of their comprehensive and complete nature there is a demand for them for finer scale applications. The applicability of LANDFIRE data varies by location and specific application so users are encouraged to carefully review the datasets to determine their suitability on a project-by-project basis.

A team of ecologists reviews LANDFIRE data in the field.
Reviewing datasets is not something many of us are trained to do and yet it is a critical step to ensure that you use data appropriately, and end up with a final product that meets your needs. To evaluate a dataset you need time to explore and consider its attributes, and maybe a little help from your friends and colleagues. For example, if your background is in fuels planning, you might want to have your local ecologist available when reviewing the vegetation maps; if you are an ecologist, you may need your fuels planner to better understand the fire behavior fuel model layers. 

LANDFIRE developed three user guides to help users review and modify its vegetation dynamics models and its suite of geo-spatial layers:

The above guides offer to-the-point advice and easy-to-follow checklists to help users through the process. The guides are complimented by a set of step-by-step videos and tutorials that explain how to perform common data modifications such as:

·      Making a New Raster

These materials build on existing LANDFIRE-related courses.

fire ecologist

The Nature Conservancy