U.S. Joint Fire Science Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Fire Science Brief, Issue 138, July 2011


US government work.


Fuel treatments are a vital part of forest management—but when faced with limited budgets, narrow burning windows, and air quality restrictions, it can be challenging to prioritize where, when, and how fuel treatments should be applied across the landscape to achieve the most benefit. To help ease this process, land managers can turn to various standalone models, capabilities, and decision support systems. While these tools address various aspects of fuel treatments, there is no one integrated solution that can provide the combined functionality needed to handle the strategic scheduling of fuel treatments, the spatial and temporal changes of fuel treatment effects on a landscape, and the budgetary and operational constraints related to maintenance of treatments. Therefore, the goal of this project was to develop an integrated solution that could fulfi ll these needs. The solution, now known as OptFuels, incorporates land management optimization functionality (MAGIS), vegetation simulation capabilities (Forest Vegetation Simulator and the Fire and Fuels Extension [FVS-FFE]), and fi re behavior modeling functionality (FlamMap). By integrating these proven technologies, project investigators and developers hoped to provide land managers with a more streamlined ability to plan, schedule, and apply the most cost-effective and landscape-appropriate fuel treatments available.