U.S. Joint Fire Science Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Project Active ID: 05-4-1-20


U.S. Government Work


The Fire Effects Planning Framework (FEPF), developed under JFSP project (99-1-3-16) “Wildland fuels management: evaluating and planning risks and benefits,” was formally completed in June 2004. FEPF is a logical framework that uses available data (e.g., local, LANDFIRE data) and existing software (e.g., GIS, Farsite, FlamMap, expert knowledge) to produce maps of probable fire effects during the pre-season or in advance of a fire front. The initial project included significant technology transfer activities. As that project concluded, however, we continued to receive requests for assistance from field managers (District, Forest and Regional Forest Service offices), international organizations (Interior West Fire Council), and national fire planning organizations (Fire Program Analysis). These requests sought more information about the tool, assistance with using it for hazardous fuels planning, and guidance for incorporating FEPF into regional training courses. To enable us to continue our outreach efforts, we initiated JFSP 05-4-1-20 “Extending the reach of the the Fire Effects Planning Framework by taking a critical approach to science delivery and application”. This funding allowed us to meet requests for assistance and participation while allowing us to identify and concentrate on the most valuable transfer mechanisms. Our goal was to observe how field managers think about and use the tool, learn who they think the primary audience is, and then revise our materials and activities accordingly. FEPF is the only analysis tool we know of that helps managers (land and fire) articulate probable ecologic effects of fire and integrate these into fire decision-making and assessment. The technology and data used by FEPF is widely available. The scientific basis for crosswalk determinations are grounded in best available science, transparent, and easily updated as new information becomes available. As the federal fire agencies move toward more comprehensive implementation of Appropriate Management Response, FEPF remains the only process that can quickly and consistently indicate areas and conditions where fire may be neutral, beneficial or harmful to natural resources of interest. Thus, it provides the only existing process to link emergency fire operations (from full suppression to wildland fire use) with land management plans, a requirement of federal oversight entities (e.g., OIG).