1.6. Types Of Fire Behaviour Copy

Jeff Co

Types Of Fire Behaviour

Ground Fire

Fire burning below the surface.
Ground fuels involved.
Little or no flame.
Can emit lots of smoke or very little smoke.
Slow spreading.
Pay attention to squirrel dens, stumps, rotten logs.

Surface Fire

Fire burning on the surface.
Surface fuels are involved.
Wide variation in flame height.
Can emit lots of smoke or very little smoke.
Wide variation in spread rates.
Light fuels can be hazardous.
Grass, brush, lichen, moss, small trees, shrubs

Crown Fire

Fire burning in tree crowns.
Aerial fuels are involved.
Large flame activity.
Emits large amounts of smoke, sometimes in a heavy column.
Can be continuous or intermittent Fast spreading.
Ground forces ineffective.


Fires igniting outside of main fire.
Fire brands thrown by main fire or rolling burning debris.
Indicates ease of ignition.
Can threaten safety.
Can block escape routes.


Crown of single tree or small group of trees suddenly consumed.
Temporary transition from surface to aerial fuels. Produces lots of fire brands.
Can indicate worsening burning conditions.
Can increase in frequency to sustained crown fire