The LANDFIRE (LF) Program began because of increased concern about the number, severity, and size of wildland fires and the need for consistent national biological/ecological inventory data. Over the past decade, LF data have become a critical piece to wildland fire and fuels treatment research, modeling, and planning tools as well as operational support for wildland fire management. LF data are crucial to fire modeling to support both operational decision making and fuels planning.
LF as a program produces national scale, spatial products that represents the best available contiguous data for the United States. LF data characterize the current states of vegetation, fuels, fire regimes, and disturbances. Additional products include reference data, land management activities databases, and ecological models.
While many of the products are inputs to downstream LF products that are critical to wildland fire management (e.g. fuels, fire regimes), many of the upstream products (e.g. vegetation, cover, height) are also valued as standalone products for natural resource managers and researchers. LF is an important suite of data beyond wildland fire management. One example of expanded use of LF data is the Appalachian Trail decision support system (A.T. DSS). The A.T. DSS is an ecological monitoring tool used by agencies responsible for the management of the Appalachian Trail. LF vegetation data was used in the development of this tool.
The value of LF is not lost on the public and the federal and state agencies that use the data. Nothing demonstrates this better than reading about some of the uses of LF data or visiting the LF Web Hosted Applications Map.