Wildland Fire Science


USGS Fire Science is fundamental to understanding the causes, consequences, and benefits of wildfire and helps prevent and manage larger, catastrophic events. USGS scientists possess diverse technical capabilities that are used to address a variety of problems posed by wildland fires. Outcomes of USGS science can be used by fire and land managers to respond to fire-related issues when they arise.

Diverse Fire Science Topics

Diverse Fire Science Topics

Learn more about the different ways that USGS science is used for wildland fire management.

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Browse USGS Fire Science Publications

Browse USGS Fire Science Publications

Get more information about recent scientific publications produced by USGS that deal with wildland fire science.



Date published: March 29, 2019

LANDFIRE Reflects on Successes, Preps for Busy Year

The LANDFIRE team has been busy lately, particularly with the ongoing rollout of the LANDFIRE Remap (LF Remap).

Date published: March 6, 2019

Wildfire risk in California no longer coupled to winter precipitation

Recent large fires in California may be harbingers of things to come.

Date published: February 14, 2019

A Comparison of Fire Potential Index Rasters

The purpose of this study is to make a quantitative comparison of Fire Potential Index (fpi) rasters created by identical processes and on coincident dates, differing only in the sensor from which the source data were obtained. 


Year Published: 2019

Characterizing 12 years of wildland fire science at the U.S. Geological Survey: Wildland Fire Science Publications, 2006–17

Wildland fire characteristics, such as area burned, number of large fires, burn intensity, and fire season duration, have increased steadily over the past 30 years, resulting in substantial increases in the costs of suppressing fires and managing damages from wildland fire events (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2017)....

Steblein, Paul F.; Miller, Mark P.
Steblein, P.F., and Miller, M.P., 2018, Characterizing 12 years of wildland fire science at the U.S. Geological Survey—Wildland fire science publications, 2006–17: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1002, 67 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191002.

Year Published: 2019

Effects of prescribed fire on San Francisco gartersnake survival and movement

The application of fire is prescribed for management of habitats for many plant and animal communities, but its effects on herpetofauna are diverse and remain poorly understood. To date no studies have examined the effects of prescribed fire on endangered San Francisco gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia) populations, despite a call for...

Halstead, Brian J.; Thompson, Michelle E.; Amarello, Melissa; Smith, Jeffrey J.; Wylie, Glenn D.; Routman, Eric J.; Casazza, Michael L.

Year Published: 2019

Drivers of chaparral type conversion to herbaceous vegetation in coastal Southern California

AimIn Southern California, native woody shrublands known as chaparral support exceptional biodiversity. However, large‐scale conversion of chaparral into largely exotic herbaceous cover is a major ecological threat and serious conservation concern. Due to substantial uncertainty regarding the causes and extent of this vegetation change, we aimed...

Syphard, Alexandra D.; Brennan, Teresa J.; Keeley, Jon E.