Guide to New Zealand fuels

NZ fuel guides

Scion's Rural Fire Research Group has developed a technical guide for selecting the most appropriate fuel type for Fire Behaviour Predictions.

Although the Field Manual and Toolkit list the fuel models, there are no visual guides or detailed descriptions available to assist users with selection of the appropriate model. This guide will provide users with a better understanding of how the fire behaviour models differ from one another, and will aid in making the most appropriate model selection for fire behaviour prediction. Two user guides exist:

  • a technical guide to determine available fuel loads and rates of spread, and
  • a field guide that fits as an insert in the Orange fire behaviour field manual.


The guide contains: 6 major fuel classes and are colour coded for easy location. Each major fuel class contains one or more individual fuel types.

Each section explains the general characteristics of that group of fuel models. This is followed by descriptions and graphs of available fuel load and fire behaviour (rate of spread), to illustrate the relative differences between the fuel models.

Each individual fuel type within a category then contains a brief description of the fuel model characteristics and potential fire behaviour. This includes graphs displaying available fuel loads and rates of spread under a range of scenarios.  Representative photographs indicate common features, although they will rarely cover all possible vegetation composition and structures within a fuel type.


Both guides can be ordered here through Scion publications. Note: Please pay by credit card if you do not have an account with Scion.

  • The technical A4 guide is priced at $35 + postage.
  • The A5 field guide is priced at $15 + postage.