NZ Fire behaviour prediction manual

Fire behaviour prediction manual

The Manual for Predicting Fire Behaviour in New Zealand Fuels represents the current state of knowledge with respect to predicting fire behaviour in New Zealand.

Previous draft versions used at fire behaviour training courses in the last few years have helped develop the current version into an effective format.

This Manual comes in a durable ring binder that is easy to navigate and allows for replacement of content as new information becomes available.

The manual consists of a number of sections related to different fuel and fire behaviour characteristics. These include:

  1. Introduction – background/overview, references
  2. Guide to using the manual – step-by-step instructions for carrying out fire behaviour calculations and preparing forecasts
  3. Wind speed estimation – standards for wind measurement, the Beaufort Scale
  4. Fire Weather Index (FWI) System adjustments – diurnal Fine Fuel Moisture Code (FFMC) adjustments and a table to determine Initial Spread Index (ISI)
  5. Available Fuel Load – tables for determining fuel load in NZ fuels
  6. Rate of spread – tables for determining equilibrium rate of spread in NZ fuels
  7. Slope – how to calculate slope and the Slope Correction Factor for fire behaviour on slopes
  8. Fire Intensity calculation – tables to determine fire intensity, equations for manual calculation, flame length/height relationships with fire intensity
  9. Interpreting fire intensities – crown fire initiation, fire suppression effectiveness, firebreak effectiveness
  10. Fire growth – tables for determining spread distance, area, perimeter length and growth rate, length-to-breadth ratio
  11. Appendices – conversion factors, fire danger graphs, blank field forms and templates

Availability and distribution

It is intended to update the tables and sections as new information on fire behaviour in New Zealand fuel types becomes available. Rural Fire Authorities will be contacted when this occurs, and new or reprinted sections of the manual will be available.

The Fire Behaviour Prediction Manual is currently being updated so is not available to purchase. [March 2024]