You are here


FireBehave logoThe BehavePlus fire modeling system is a Windows®-based computer program that can be used for any fire management application that involves modeling fire behavior and fire effects. The system is composed of a collection of mathematical models that describe fire behavior, fire effects, and the fire environment based on specified fuel and moisture conditions. The program simulates rate of fire spread, spotting distance, scorch height, tree mortality, fuel moisture, wind adjustment factor, and many other fire behaviors and effects; it is commonly used to predict fire behavior in multiple situations. More information including installation files, publications, and training, is available on FRAMES.

Some applications include:

  • Predicting the behavior of an ongoing fire. Historically, this was the original use for Behave as described by Rothermel (1983) in "How to Predict the Spread and Intensity of Forest and Range Fires". Today, the modern version of Behave, BehavePlus Version 5.0, is even more powerful for predicting fire behavior during wildfires and prescribed fires in the United States and other countries because of its expanded features and capabilities.
  • Planning fire treatments. Contingency planning depends on complex fire variables, such as spotting distance, probability of ignition, spot fire growth, and probability of containment. All of these are modeled in BehavePlus to facilitate planning of prescribed fires for ecological restoration or fuel reduction programs.
  • Assessing fuel hazard. Fuel moisture and wind conditions are easily manipulated in BehavePlus. Variations in these factors affect fire behavior in surface and crown fuels, so understanding the sensitivity of fuels to moisture and wind is essential to asses whether fuel accumulations have potentials to burn or whether planned treatments may be dangerous to fire fighters or the public.
  • Understanding fire behavior. Modeling systems are excellent sources for educating and training personnel on the subtleties of fire behavior. The complex interactions among fire, fuel, moisture, and wind can be easily explored in BehavePlus by changing input variables and fuel conditions for each model run. This makes BehavePlus well suited to learning about fire behavior in safe surroundings.

Successful application of BehavePlus depends upon knowledgeable user decisions. To effectively use BehavePlus in fire modeling, users must have enough fire and fuel experience and fire behavior training to recognize whether their input values are reasonable and make appropriate adjustments. BehavePlus is designed to balance ease of use with options and features that users want and need. Training modules are available to increase user knowledge of both fire behavior and BehavePlus use.

You can subscribe to news, including updates, by signing up for the Fire Behavior Newsletter.

Technical Support:

The first level of technical support is provided through your local support channels. Please review our FAQs and Known Bugs pages prior to contacting the Help Desk.

The second level of technical support is provided by the USDA Forest Service Fire and Aviation Interagency Incident Applications (IIA) HelpDesk.

Phone: (866) 224-7677 or (616) 323-1667,
Fax: (616) 323-1665

The IIA HelpDesk is available for help with software issues only and cannot answer fire behavior questions.

Modified: Dec 15, 2016

Select Publications & Products

The BehavePlus fire modeling system program, publications, and other supporting material are available on FRAMES. The BehavePlus Publications web page includes current and historic papers that describe BehavePlus and the development of fire behavior modeling.

Andrews, Patricia L. 2013. Current status and future needs of the BehavePlus fire modeling system. International Journal of Wildland Fire 23(1): 21-33.

Andrews, Patricia. L. 2010. Do you BEHAVE? - Application of the BehavePlus fire modeling system. In: Proceedings of the 3rd Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference. 2010 October 25-29, Spokane, WA. Birmingham, AL: International Association of Wildland Fire. 17 p.

Heinsch, Faith Ann; Andrews, Patricia L. 2010. BehavePlus fire modeling system, version 5.0: Design and features. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-249. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.111 p.

Andrews, Patricia L. 2009. BehavePlus fire modeling system, version 5.0: Variables. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-213WWW. Revised. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 111 p.

Andrews, Patricia L.; Bevins, Collin D.; Seli, Robert C. 2008. BehavePlus fire modeling system, version 4.0: User's guide. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-106WWW. Revised. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 132 p.