Randy Swaty
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Jeannie Patton
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Posted on: 12/17/2013 - Updated on: 2/27/2020

Posted by

Rachel Gregg


LANDFIRE is a collaboration between the USDA Forest Service, the Department of the Interior, and The Nature Conservancy to produce seamless national mapping products that inform conservation and land management. It comprises a collection of data, ecological models and tools representing vegetation, fire and fuel characteristics for the United States and insular islands. Spatial data is delivered as 30m and includes reference ecosystems (called Biophysical Setting, BpS), Existing Vegetation Height (EVH), Cover (EVC) and Type (EVT), current succession classes (s-classes), Vegetation Departure (represents difference between current and reference conditions), current fuel and fire behavior models, and historic fire regime data. The Ecological Models represent how the BpS’s would have functioned and appeared across large landscapes under natural disturbance regimes. The models run in ST-Sim, and are highly customizable, easily adapted to represent current and potential future management, climate change and vegetation dynamics.  Additionally there are several tools available that aid in the use and adaptation of LANDFIRE data including:

LANDFIRE was initiated based on U.S. federal agencies’ needs for seamless mapped data that support prioritization of hazardous fuel reduction and ecological conservation activities and also to support strategic resource management initiatives such as the Healthy Forests Restoration Act, Community Wildfire Protection Plans, the National Fire Plan, fire management planning, stewardship of public and private lands, and natural resource management.

LANDFIRE products are designed to be used at a landscape‐scale, across boundaries, in so as to support strategic planning regarding land management activities. LANDFIRE data products also facilitate national‐ and regional‐level planning activities, and reporting of wildland fire and natural resource management actions. 

LANDFIRE National products are delivered at a 30‐meter pixel resolution, and are most effectively used at landscape scale. Thus, applying LANDFIRE data at an individual pixel level or in small groups of pixels is not recommended. Landscape‐scale analysis includes

  • nationwide (all states) strategic planning,
  • regional (single large states or groups of smaller states) strategic planning, and
  • strategic/tactical planning for large sub‐regional landscapes.

Using LANDFIRE products to support analysis in smaller areas may result in outcomes that vary in quality by product, location, and specific use.  Therefore, LANDFIRE data application is more likely to be helpful when users are familiar with LANDFIRE metadata and local area landscape characteristics.

LANDFIRE products are not intended to replace local‐scale data products. However, LANDFIRE data products can serve as a back‐up reference data by providing gapless cross‐boundary products that span the U.S.

For tutorials, resources, and examples of how LANDFIRE is being used in the field, visit the Conservation Gateway. The LANDFIRE YouTube channel also offers tutorials, case studies, and workshop presentation videos.




Land managers, natural resource manangers, researchers, scientists, conservationists, local authorities, policy makers

Managing Organizations

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service is a Federal agency that manages public lands in national forests and grasslands. The Forest Service is also the largest forestry research organization in the world, and provides technical and financial assistance to state and private forestry agencies. Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the Forest Service, summed up the purpose of the Forest Service—"to provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run."

The U.S. Department of the Interior protects and manages the Nation's natural resources and cultural heritage; provides scientific and other information about those resources; and honors its trust responsibilities or special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated Island Communities. The Interior heads eight technical bureaus: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Minerals Management Service, National Park Service, Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S.