USDA Forest Service

Adaptive Management Services


United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Enterprise

United States Department of Agriculture USDA Forest Service Enterprise - Reinvention Lab

Fire Behavior Assessment Team

About us:   We are a unique fire module that measures pre-fire fuels/vegetation, active fire behavior (with sensors in the fire), and post-fire fuels/vegetation conditions during wildfires and prescribed fires. The team is led by Carol Ewell and includes 6-12 fireline qualified personnel, at least one of which is crewboss qualified or more typically Division Supervisor qualified. The team also conducts canyon or chimney blow-up modeling. See how to order us and 2006/2015 FBAT Fire Reports for more information on the team.

What can we do for prescribed fires or wildfires?

We are a unique module that specializes in measuring fire behavior on active fires in any fuel type on either prescribed or wildland fires. We utilize fire behavior sensors and special video camera set-ups to measure direction and variation in rate of spread, fire type (e.g. surface, passive or active crown fire behavior) in relation to fuel loading and configuration, topography, fuel moisture, weather and operations. We measure changes in fuels from the fire and can compare the effectiveness of past fuel treatments or fires on fire behavior and effects. We are prepared to process and report data while on the incident, which makes the information immediately applicable for verifying LTAN or FBAN fire behavior prediction assumptions. In addition, the video and data are useful for conveying specific information to the public, line officers and others. We can also collect and analyze data to meet longer term management needs such as verifying or testing fire behavior modeling assumptions for fire management plans, unit resource management plans or project plans. We can address specific unit objectives such as effects to archeological, botanical or wildlife habitat resources in relation to fire behavior and fuels.  photo sequence of a wildland fire and fire whorl


FBAT Background & Methods

How to order us:     [ print or copy order information ]

Contact the Fire Behavior Assessment Team (FBAT) Leader, Carol Ewell, for availability.
Once availability is confirmed, we'll give you a personnel list to order us as single resources in ROSS.
Carol Ewell: cell 530-559-0070
Secondary Number - CA-STF Dispatch: 209-532-378

Secondary contact: Alicia Reiner
Cell number: 530-559-4860

»   2006-2014 FBAT Fire Summary Reports:   these reports were completed while ordered on the Incident, before the end of a 14 day or less tour. A proposal was submitted to the Joint Fire Science Program in the fall of 2006 to conduct further analysis and publication. The additional analysis would include comparisons of measured fire behavior, fuel consumption and fire effects with model predictions from fire behavior models (BEHAVEplus, crown fire initiation algorithms, Rothermel crown fire spread), CONSUME, and FOFEM.

    French Fire — Sierra National Forest — 2014     Beaver Fire — Klamath National Forest — 2014
This report contains the results of 8 plots with both pre- and post-fire fuels and fire behavior data collected in a variety of locations across the western and central portions of the Beaver fire. Some of this data shows intense fire behavior and large degrees of consumption.

    King Fire — Eldorado National Forest — 2014
    Aspen Fire — Sierra National Forest — 2013
This report contains the results of a one week assessment of fire behavior, vegetation and fuel loading and consumption, and fire effects to vegetation and soil resources for Division D that evolved to be Division F on the Aspen fire.

    Rim Fire — Stanislaus National Forest — 2013
Coming soon!

    Lion Fire — Sequoia National Forest — 2011
This report contains the results of the fire behavior assessment in relation to fuels, topography, fuel moisture, and fire effects to resources for the Lion Fire on the Sequoia National Forest in the Golden Trout Wilderness in the southern Sierra Nevada.
    Clover Wildland — Sequoia National Forest — 2008
This report contains the results of the assessment of fire behavior in relation to fuels, weather, topography, and fire effects to resources in relation to fire behavior for the Clover Wildland Fire Use Fire on the Sequoia National Forest on the Kern Plateau in the South Sierra Wilderness.
  Ham Lake Fire on the Superior National Forest — November 2007
The FBAT team conducted post-fire effects measurements on the Ham Lake fire area.
    Antelope Complex on the Plumas National Forest—July 2007
The FBAT team conducted both detailed fire behavior/fuels and post-fire effects measurements and a rapid assesssment of fire behavior through different fuel types and especially areas that had undergone fuel treatments. The use of treated areas on suppression and fire behavior were the emphasis of the assessment.
    Florida/Georgia Wildfires—2007
The FBAT module made two trips to the southeast in late spring an early summer, focusing on changes in fire behavior through different fuel types and especially areas treated with prescribed fire. This included areas on the Okefenokee Refuge, Osceola National Forest and surrounding areas.
    Ralston Incident, Tahoe National Forest—September 2006     Orleans Incident, Six Rivers National Forest—August 2006     Bar Incident, Shasta-Trinity National Forest—July 2006     Tiger-Rock Incident, Arizona—July 2006     Warm Incident, Kaibab National Forest—June 2006  Fire Behavior Assessment Team logo
  • The team met with the District and were given objectives of:
  • Data were collected on 10 sites, mostly in ponderosa pine. One site included what may be a rare and endangered cactus (identification is being confirmed), which was specifically censused. Rapid assessment post-fire effects were sampled on several randomly placed transects in Goshawk habitat.
  • A 30 page report was submitted to the district that included:   1) data on pre-fire fuels and vegetation structure; 2) fire behavior; 3) post-fire fuels and vegetation structure. Following review by the district, the report will be added to the website.
  • Warm Wildland Fire Use Fire ¤ Fire Behavior Assessment Report   (.pdf, 30 pages, 1321kb)
    Fire Behavior Assessment Team Monitoring Plots, Warm WFU Fire June 2006   (.pdf, map, 593kb)

USDA Forest Service - Adaptive Management Services Enterprise Unit
Last Modified: Wednesday, 08 April 2015 at 16:41:41 CDT