USDA Forest Service

Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team


Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team
Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory

400 N 34th Street, Suite 201
Seattle, WA 98103

(206) 732-7800

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United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

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Fuel and Fire Tools


Small version of the fuel and fire tools opening screenFuel and Fire Tools (FFT) is a software application that integrates the Fuel Characteristics Classification System (version 3.0), Consume (version 4.2), FEPS (version 2.0), Pile Calculator, and Digital Photo Series into a single user interface.  All of the tools were developed by the Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team (FERA) as open-source and freely sharable software and are supported as separate modules.  Fuelbeds are the common currency in FFT.  FCCS requires a list of one to many fuelbeds to run calculations.  Because Consume and the Fire Emission Production Simulator (FEPS) can predict consumption by burn unit, they require fuelbeds to be assigned to a unit with a percentage area entered for each fuelbed.


  • The Fuel Characteristic Classification System (FCCS v. 3.0) stores and classifies fuels data as fuelbeds and calculates fuel loadings, carbon and other summary fuel characteristics.  It predicts surface fire behavior and a 0-9 index of surface, crown fire and available fuel potentials. The FCCS module also is available as a command line version and as a module in the Interagency Fuel Treatment Decision Support System (IFTDSS).
  • The Fire Emission Production Simulator (FEPS) (v. 2.0) predicts hourly fuel consumption, pollutant emissions, and heat release characteristics of prescribed burns and wildland fires. The FEPS calculator module can be run in command line and has been integrated into BlueSky, IFT-DSS, and V-Smoke. 
  • The web-based Digital Photo Series (DPS) can be launched within the FFT fuelbed editor to for reference purposes.  It is also available as a separate web-based tool on the FERA website.
  • The Pile Calculator is integrated within the Fuelbed Editor to allow creation and editing of pile information within fuelbeds.  It is also available as a web-based tool or stand-alone tool on the FERA website.
Major Changes

Integration of the stand-alone versions of FCCS, Consume and FEPS required substantial changes in the user interface. Every effort was made to preserve the same outputs and functionality of the stand-alone versions, but users will notice some major changes to the user interface. 

Changes to FCCS
  • Multiple fuelbeds are supported by the fuelbed editor. Some input screens were consolidated and the stratum and catagory icons were removed. The basic fuelbed organization has been preserved with tabs that should be familiar to FCCS 2.2 users. 
  • Pile calculator is integrated into the fuelbed editor
  • Environmental scenario interface supports only one scenario per FCCS calculation.The dry, benchmark scenario (D2L2 fuel moisture scenario, no slope and 4 mph wind speed) is always run alongside user-specified scenarios, so users have results under two environmental scenarios (in contrast to three supported by FCCS 2.2).
  • Fuel loadings may be entered by the user. Optional fuel loading inputs were added for shrubs, litter, lichen, moss, upper duff, lower duff, basal accumulation and squirrel midden categories.  If you do not have loading values, leave the optional fuel loading input blank, and FCCS will calculate a loading value for you based on your other inputs.
  • Creation of tabular reports based on the FCCS command-line version (Tables) and printable (pdf format) reports.  Currently, FFT only supports tabular reports based on multiple fuelbeds.  Single fuelbed reports are under development.
  • Graphs are available, include fuel loading, carbon, surface fire behavior (rate of spread, flame length, and reaction intensity) and FCCS potentials (summary potentials, surface fire potential, crown fire potential and available fuel potential).
  • A command line version of FCCS is included in the FCCS_30 subdirectory within the Fuel and Fire Tools main folder and is particularly useful for running large batches of fuelbeds through FCCS 3.0. Coming soon
Changes to Consume
  • FCCS and Consume are fully integrated.  Consume users select FCCS fuelbeds, specify a burn unit, then specify environmental inputs and calculate results.  Users are able to view both FCCS and Consume outputs in the Results screen.  A burn unit must be specified for Consume to run. 
  • Users may specify a consumption equation by fuelbed in the Burn Unit screen.  Consume no longer assigns a regional consumption equation based on fuelbed type and ecoregion. The default consumption equation is Natural-Western.  Other options include Activity (for fuelbeds with recent logging slash or windthrow), Natural-Boreal, and Natural-Southern.
  • FFT version 1.0 does not support "Projects", which means that project summary reports cannot be generated for selected burn units. We are aware that some Consume users require project summary reports and plan to include project summaries in the next version of FFT.
  • Pile Calculator has been fully integrated into the FFT so that users may create and edit pile information within an fuelbed and view pile consumption and emissions. If users wish to only view outputs for piles, they should use the online pile calculator, available at
  • Reports are organized into simple tabular outputs, and printable reports (pdf format) by fuelbed or burn unit.  Graphs include consumption, consumption by stratum, and emissions by pollutant species.
  • A command line version of Consume in included in the Consume_4 subdirectory within the Fuel and Fire Tools main folder. The command line version relies on an output fuel-loadings file from FCCS 3.0. Coming soon
Notes to Users


  • We do not recommend that the "Elevated" option (found on Forest Service computers) be used to unzip, install, or run FFT. Some users have experienced problems when going down that path.
Release Notes (9/30/2014)

The Fuel and Fire Tools (FFT) is under active development.  The latest release contains the following changes:

  1. Inclusion of the Fire Emissions Production Simulator (FEPS) ver. 2.0. This abbreviated version supports the ability to model fire emissions rates and plume production over a 24-hour event and a simple tabular report of model outputs. 
  2. Option to select a single consumption equation to be used for all fuelbeds within a burn unit (burn unit editor).
  3. Option to search for species by common or scientific name (fuelbed editor)
  4. Addition of FCCS unit summary reports and minor updates to graphs
  5. Correction in the metric conversion from acres to hectares. 

The next version of FFT is planned for release in December 2014. It (a) incorporates a fully-functional version of FEPS, (b) includes multiday burn events, reports, graphs, and updated emissions factors, and (d) corrects algorithms for duff consumption in deep organic soils.


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