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FireBehave logoThe BehavePlus fire modeling system is a Windows®-based computer program that can be used for any fire management application that needs to calculate fire behavior. It uses specified fuel and moisture conditions to simulate surface and crown fire rate of fire spread and intensity, probability of ignition, fire size, spotting distance, and tree mortality. More information including installation files, publications, and training, is available on FRAMES.

BehavePlus version 6 Beta was released on February 7, 2018. This version includes improved estimates of both flanking fire behavior and probability of containment. New features include calculations of crown fire behavior using the method by Scott and Reinhardt (2005), spotting distance from active crown fire, and probability of mortality for longleaf pine. A complete list of changes is available under the Downloads and User Guides. Full information about this release is available on FRAMES. Please send us your feedback by contacting Faith Ann Heinsch, the Development Lead.

BehavePlus version 5.0.5 is still the official release and continues to be supported until version 6 is fully released.

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." 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. BehavePlus includes models to facilitate planning of prescribed fires for ecological restoration or fuel treatment 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 assess 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. 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. The same underlying models used in spatial fire behavior models are incorporated into BehavePlus, to help you test and understand the assumptions and limitations of fire behavior models.

Successful application of BehavePlus depends upon a knowledgeable user. To effectively use BehavePlus in fire modeling, you must have enough fire and fuel experience and fire behavior training to recognize whether your 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 and updates, by signing up for the Fire Behavior Newsletter. All updates to BehavePlus version 6 will be announced via the FRAMES website and the 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. This is especially important when using BehavePlus version 6 Beta.

Support for BehavePlus Version 6 Beta is provided by Faith Ann Heinsch, Development Lead.

The second level of technical support for version 5.0 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: Aug 03, 2020

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. 2014. 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.