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Interpreting Expected Surface Fire Behavior

Once estimates of Rate of Spread and Flame Length have been obtained, use these classifications to evaluate the level of concern they generate. 

Fire Behavior Class

Rate of Spread (ch/hr)

Flame Length

(ft)

Tactical Interpretation

Very Low

0-2

0-1

Direct, Hand

Low

2-5

1-4

Direct, Hand

Moderate

5-20

4-8

Direct, Equip

High

20-50

8-12

Indirect

Very High

50-150

12-25

Indirect

Extreme

150+

25+

Indirect


Surface Fire Behavior Characteristics Chart