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:

View the FY 2022 Program Summary which presents Program highlights, research projects, tools and products as well as work by our Collaborative Programs.

Keep up to date on our research. Sign up for our quarterly newsletter that highlights new research, app and product updates, upcoming events, and general happenings.

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 about wildland fire… 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 fire suppression,… 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 spatial scales. Fire… more

Decision support systems improve the effectiveness and efficiency of fire and forest management activities and increase the safety of planning and operations. FFS has a long… more

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


Take a look at a few of our projects and activities explained through ESRI's ArcGIS Story Maps and tools.

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.

FFI: Ecological Monitoring: FFI has been developed to assist managers with collection, storage and analysis of ecological information.

Understanding Post-fire Tree Mortality: Resources & Research: Compiled information about post-fire tree mortality based on past and current research efforts. 

WindNinja: A diagnostic wind model developed for use in wildland fire modeling.

Also, visit Missoula Fire Sciences Lab Facility Tour to get a virtual glimpse at our research facility or scroll below to get more information about our resources.