The Fire Modeling Institute brings together people and fire-analysis tools to solve fire-related resource-management problems. As a center of expertise in fire management resources, it coordinates between those who need fire-resource information, training and/or products and those who work in programs or research units that develop or maintain those products for the public. The Institute can be envisioned as two separate – but integrated – groups. One group is responsible for storing and maintaining fire-science literature. One group is responsible for developing and maintaining fire-science technology. Five highly skilled specialists coordinate requests for fire-related assistance from these two groups.
The fire-science literature group, also known as Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) personnel, is comprised of library professionals and information specialists who are dedicated to providing clients with the most current information that applies to a resource problem. They develop literature reviews, assemble in-depth information on how fire affects specific plant and animal species, and maintain a comprehensive library of fire-related research literature.
The fire-analysis technology group, also known as the Applications Team, is comprised of technical experts from the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station Fire Sciences Laboratory, the Fire and Aviation Management (FAM) team, and the national LANDFIRE program. The Fire Science Laboratory provides expertise from its three research units, including Fire Ecology and Fuels, Fire Behavior, and Fire Chemistry; and from its personnel in the LANDFIRE program.
The five FMI coordinators themselves are specialists in forestry, fire ecology, fire behavior, and information/library management. Each evaluates incoming requests for assistance within their area of expertise and determines how to best fill them with available resources.