Because land managers and other professionals have been using LANDFIRE spatial data since 2004, the gold mine of methods, use ideas and potential contacts is impossible to track. In this section of the LANDFIRE Gateway site, we suggest ways to find and explore LANDFIRE applications.

Quick Resources

Application SNAPSHOTS, next page: thumbnail reports presented in short templates that includes citations, abstracts, maps, and photos.

LANDFIRE YouTube channel: playlists Webinars and Applications/Case Studies.

LANDFIRE publications library on Gateway.

The WHAM! (Web-Hosted Applications Map): 130+ applications in a Google Map format, e.g., zoom, pan, click, and learn. Open the WHAM! with Firefox or Chrome. It does not work in IE.

Click for a PDF table of WHAM! application thumbnails, sorted by state. Updated October 2018.

Below on this page: Short interviews with a few of LANDFIRE's most prolific and innovative product users. 

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Featured Applications

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Recently, Utah State University's Forestry Extension asked LANDFIRE to explain how the Program's comprehensive vegetation, fire, and fuel characteristics data have impacted the way scientists and managers approach land management. 

By facilitating inter-agency/inter-organizational collaboration and cooperation, and providing data for landscape assessment, analysis, and management on a large scale, LANDFIRE helps Federal and State agencies and other public and private organizations work together to address fire and other natural resource management issues.

Given the extent of public lands in the West, LANDFIRE's impact has been significant. Data are used because they include the best available science and expert review; they are publicly available at no cost, making the methods easy to replicate for other states; and they are regularly "refreshed" so that assessments and plans can be adjusted with every new data release.

In this feature article, we showcase western watersheds and fire management, ecology and conservation of sage-grouse at landscape scales, statewide assessment of riparian vegetation conditions, fire suppression costs with and without fuel treatments, effects of climate change on cattle production, and adapting data to support local planning efforts. Read the full story.

Keeping fuel data current over time is a continual challenge for wildland fire managers. Natural events like wildfires and hurricanes, and human activities such as forest thinning, prescribed fire, and development constantly change the landscape and quickly render fuel data out of date.
Biannually, LF provides a data safety net by producing updated all-lands fuels products for the U.S.; however, those data are two to three years old when they are delivered. Further, while they provide a good starting point, the products are designed for national and regional level application -- local review and calibration is recommended to ensure that the data are suitable for smaller landscapes.
In 2015, the South Central Idaho Fire Planning Unit (FPU) needed current data after four major fires burned 178,000 acres in 2013. However, the 2013 events would not be reflected before the circa 2014 version was completed and made available in 2017. How did the area fire staff, working with a team of LF and USFS colleagues, bring the 2012 fuel data current to 2015 for the FPU? And, what process did they use to calibrate fire behavior fuel models to better fit local conditions? Read the article by Kori Blankenship, Tony Beauchaine and Don Helmbrecht in Wildfire Magazine. 

LANDFIRE Super User Interviews

LANDFIRE Bulletins and Postcards often feature interviews with "super users" who have relied on LF tools and data for major projects. Click "Postcard" to see the month's publication, which includes additional LF news. Click "interview pdf" to download the interview document only.

Teaching the Next Generation of LF Practitioners. "I love to learn almost as much as I love teaching," says Heather Heward, Senior Fire Instructor at the University of Idaho. "I am passionate about fire education and enjoy seeing the fire in my students as they learn about how they can make a difference in the broader world of fire ecology and management." She teaches most of the on-campus fire classes at the University of Idaho where LF data is used: the "Prescribed Burning Lab," "Fire and Fuel Modeling," and "GIS Applications in Fire Ecology and Management" courses. Heather's degrees from the University of Idaho are in Natural Resources Ecology and Conservation Biology with a minor in Fire Ecology and Management (B.S. 2006), and in Forestry, with an emphasis on remote observations of fires (M.S. 2009). Her fire career began in 2002. She worked eight seasons as a wildland firefighter in a variety of capacities, her favorite as a member of wildland fire modules in California and New Mexico. How is LANDFIRE used in college classrooms? Read the interview pdf. November 2018 postcard.

Todd Hawbaker

Providing Consistent Burned Area Data. After receiving a B.S. degree in animal ecology from Iowa State University, Todd Hawbaker spent the next couple of years burning and restoring tallgrass prairie in southwestern Minnesota. From there, he went on to receive both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in forestry from the University of Wisconsin before joining the U.S. Geological Survey as a research ecologist.
Todd works at the Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center in Denver, CO. His current research for LandCarbon, incorporates LANDFIRE to understand the drivers behind ecosystem disturbances and quantify the impacts of disturbances on human and natural systems. He also leads the development of the Landsat Burned Area Algorithm and Products, used by LANDFIRE, to identify burned areas in both forest and non-forest ecosystems.Read the interview pdf. October 2018 postcard.

Picture of Christine DroskeLandscape-Scale Fire Regime Analysis. US Forest Service Fire Ecologist Christine Droske is working on a landscape-scale fire regime analysis that will provide the framework for management decisions on the Salmon-Challis National Forest. A key to revising the Forest’s Land Management Plan, the analysis will guide management direction for 4.2 million acres in north central Idaho, including 2 million acres within the River of No Return Wilderness. Christine has focused on leading project design and implementation on fuels treatment, prescribed fire, and forest restoration activities on the Salmon-Challis. She’s particularly excited about the project because it will enable managers to use wildfire as a tool for restoration and learn more about adapting to fire-dependent systems. Read the interview pdf. July 2018 postcard.

Photo of Greg DillonAddressing Wildfire Risk Across the Nation. Greg Dillon, Forest Service spatial fire analyst with the Rocky Mountain Research Station’s Fire Modeling Institute (FMI), works on various projects that use geospatial technology to address land management and fire management questions. Two projects involve assessing wildfire risk across National Forest System lands in the United States. and producing and maintaining the Wildfire Hazard Potential map that depicts potential wildfire hazards across the U.S. Greg’s research centers around geospatial analysis, vegetation ecology, and fire ecology. In his current position with FMI, he applies recent advances in fire science and geospatial technology to address management questions from the national level down to local districts. In this interview, Greg talks about being with LF since the first day, changes, improvements and best moments. Read the interview pdf.  May 2018 postcardUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window). 

Photo of Louisa EversBLM Science and Research Needs from Rangeland to Climate Change. Louisa Evers, Ph.D., has 30 years’ experience in fire and fuels management and fire ecology ranging from basic firefighter to fuels specialist and fire ecologist. She has worked across the western U.S. in both prescribed fire and wildfire response. In January 2012, Louisa became the science and climate change coordinator for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Oregon-Washington State Office. Louisa’s current focus centers on issues affecting greater sage-grouse habitat and sagebrush ecosystems, supporting the development of land use plans and their associated environmental impact statements, and providing a liaison with the research community in Oregon and Washington to support BLM’s science and research needs. Read the interview. April 2018 postcard.


Marion Reid photoVegetation Ecology Meets LF Data. Vegetation ecologist Marion Reid is the NatureServe project manager overseeing a multi-year year effort to support the LF team in new mapping of the U.S. of ecological systems and National Vegetation Classification (NVC) Groups, and is contributing to the development of a Guidebook to the NVC for BLM. An "LF Lifer," she's collaborated with LF since the early 2000's on the first iterations of the auto-keys, and was involved in the first iterations of BpS model development in the west. She's "been there, done that," so why is the LF Reference Database is her favorite product? Read the interview pdf.  March 2018 postcard. 


BigDave profile picresized.png Data, Big Applications. Dave Cleland, landscape ecologist with the USDA Forest Service, Forest and Range Management and Vegetation Ecology, Washington Office says that "LANDFIRE has the most consistent and I think best data available nationally on fire regimes, biophysical settings, and vegetative departures and dynamics." A LF "pioneer," Dave has held positions as a Forest Soil Scientist, Forest Ecologist, Research Liaison, Regional Ecologist, Research Ecologist, and Assistant National Vegetation Ecologist over the course of his career. Interview. February 2018 postcard.


Supporting Users, Creating BpS Models Fire Ecologist Kori Blankenship joined LF in 2004 as a GIS specialist at the Missoula Fire Sciences Lab, then moved to The Nature Conservancy's LF team in 2005. In her decade-plus at TNC, she has facilitated the creation of hundreds of vegetation models for ecosystems across the US. Her specialty is applying LF products to addressing land management challenges on large landscapes through data customization, user support, and outreach efforts.  Interview pdf. January 2018 postcard.

Connecting Users and Mappers in Northeastern U.S.
Megan Sebasky, Northeast Region's (USFS Region 9) LF Coordinator, joined the Wisconsin DNR in March 2017 as Northeast's LF Coordinator - a new position supported by a State and Private Forestry grant to the Great Lakes Forest Fire Compact. November 2017. Read the Interview pdf. Postcard.


SBcolor.jpg Landscape-scale Analysis Essential to Success of Watershed Projects: Rio Grande Water Fund  Steve Bassett, Spatial Analyst and GIS Program Manager for The Nature Conservancy in Santa Fe, NM, works conservation projects ranging from optimizing investment in water source protection to measuring changes in aquatic habitats following the construction of dams. PostcardInterview pdf.


Alexa cropped and resized.jpg LANDFIRE & GAP: Partnership Addresses Challenges of Land Cover Mapping  Alexa McKerrow, ecologist and remote sensing analyst, joined the USGS National Gap Analysis Program in the 1990s. She leads a team of geographic information specialists on a variety of projects for the Core Science Analytics and Synthesis Program. On the Remap strategy team, Alexa works on updates to the methods and workflow for producing a new Existing Vegetation Type. PostcardInterview pdf.


Nicole.png Evaluating the US Forest Service Hazardous Fuels Treatment Program  USFS Fire Ecologist Nicole Vaillant's interests include characterizing fire behavior at multiple scales, burn severity patterns, fuel treatment effectiveness, and wildfire risk analysis. She is involved with tech transfer and training for fuel management tools, e.g. ArcFuels and the Interagency Fuel Treatment Decision Support System (IFTDSS). PostcardInterview pdf.

Future Forest Dynamics Across the USJennifer_Costanza.jpg  Among Landscape Ecologist Jen Costanza's research interests are the ecological effects of global change, land change modeling and landscape conservation. She is working to produce future projections of forest conditions for the Forest Service’s Resources Planning Act Assessment. Postcard.   Interview pdf.

Quantifying Rangeland Fuels, Production, and Carbon Research Ecologist Matt Reeves is with the USFS Human Dimensions Program, specializing in using remote sensing and GIS to evaluate issues facing U.S. rangelands.  LF data are integral to the Rangeland Vegetation Simulator (RVS), a cutting-edge program for quantifying rangeland fuels, production, carbon and degradation. Postcard.


Greg Low1.jpg Maps, Models, Metrics  Greg Low, founder/partner of Applied Conservation LLC provides consulting and facilitation services to public agencies, nonprofit conservation organizations, private landowners, and others. He specializes in forecasting, implementation, environmental dashboards, and organizational development in large landscapes, 50k-1m acres. PostcardInterview pdf.


Josh.jpg Remap: Creating a New LF Base Map Josh Picotte is a fire specialist with ASRC Federal-InuTeq, Science Support Services Contract (SSSC) to the U.S. Geological Survey at the EROS Center in Sioux Falls, SD. As a member of the LF Remap Strategy Team, Josh is working to create a new base map data suite that represents contemporary conditions. Postcard.


Margit Bucher Restoring Fire in the Southeast Fire Manager Margit Bucher of The Nature Conservancy, is a founder and current board member of the North Carolina Prescribed Fire Council, and co-lead for the Southern Blue Ridge Fire Learning Network. She oversees the fire management program on 50,000 acres of TNC lands in North Carolina. Disturbance ecology, understanding how ecosystems function, and the application of that knowledge to inform wildland management are her specialties. Margit is a burn boss and fire manager. Postcard.

 Jordan Long is a remote sensing scientist with Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies (SGT, Inc.), Technical Support Services Contractor to USGS/EROS in Sioux Falls, SD. Additional specialties include environmental analysis, impact assessment, monitoring and modeling, geography, geographic information systems, and cartography. Postcard.