About the Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program

The USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station's Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program (FFS) is based at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula, Montana. The Program conducts national and international cutting-edge work in wildland fire research.

The Program’s scientists, technicians, and support staff continue a 60+ year legacy of proactively conducting the research we need tomorrow and into the future. By improving fundamental understanding of wildland fire and developing tools and applications, FFS research increases the safety and effectiveness of fire, fuel, and smoke management and helps increase the health of our wildlands.

The FFS Program also includes:


Bear marking on whitebark
Bear marking on whitebark

Research Focus Areas

The mission of the Conservation Education (CE) Team for the Fire, Fuel and Smoke (FFS) Program is to develop and deliver high-quality, science-based education… more

The majority of U.S. forests and grasslands are adapted to fire. Past management actions such as grazing, introduction of non-native species, and organized… more

The study of wildland fire behavior addresses the dynamics of energy release and fire propagation from combustion in wildland fuels across a wide range of… more

Wildland fire science includes interdisciplinary components that cross-cut several focal areas. Research disciplines such as meteorology and climate can… more

In many regions across the globe, including the United States, wildland fires are a significant source of air pollution and can be a major hazard to public… more


The FFS Program staff participate in prescribed fire and wildland fire activities throughout the United States and abroad.

International Partnerships Map

Researchers work collaboratively with national and international partners to improve wildland fire research that maintains healthy, productive ecosystems and reduces risk to people and property. 

Boots on the Ground

View our interactive map and explore the images to learn more about our "Boots on the Ground" program.

Missoula Fire Sciences Lab

The Fire Lab supports research of the Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program to develop a greater understanding of wildland fire.