Joint Fire Science Program

The Joint Fire Science Program provides funding for scientific studies associated with wildland fire, fuels, and fire-impacted ecosystems that respond to the emerging needs of land managers, practitioners, and policymakers.

A person gestures at a diagram printed on a large sheet of paper

Roger Ottmar, Pacific Northwest Research Station, describes field study design for the Fuel Characteristic Classification System in Alaska. (Tim Swedberg, Joint Fire Science Program) 

Quick Facts

26: research projects completed in Fiscal Year 2021
$6 million: amount allocated to this program in Fiscal Year 2021 ($3 million from Interior, $3 million from the U.S. Forest Service)
1998: year Joint Fire Science program was established by Congress

The Joint Fire Science Program provides funding for scientific studies associated with managing wildland fire, fuels, and fire impacts to ecosystems to respond to emerging needs of managers, practitioners, and policymakers at local, regional, and national levels. This work informs wildland fire policy and practical solutions leading to fire adapted communities and more fire-resilient landscapes. The program was established by Congress in 1998 and is jointly funded by the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service. 

The Joint Fire Science Program plays a central role in delivering practical, science-based solutions and knowledge exchange by funding and managing the Fire Science Exchange Network. Fifteen regional fire science exchanges provide the most relevant, current wildland fire science information to Federal, Tribal, State, local, and private stakeholders within ecologically similar regions. 

2018 Highlights

Funding in Fiscal Year 2018 focused on four areas: delivery of practical solutions and knowledge exchange; student research/future workforce development; syntheses/assessments; and wildland fire science leadership, coordination, and partnerships.

More than 13,000 fire, fuel, land, and natural resource management professionals working in the field were engaged in field tours, seminars, workshops, and training sessions.

Researchers completed 33 projects that provided new knowledge on fire and land management. Topics included the effectiveness of fuels management treatments to change fire behavior; economics of fuels treatments; restoration of wildland fire on soil, plants, and wildlife; and interrelationship of fire and climate on air quality. Supporting these research projects were 250 undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students—some of whom will become future fire and natural resource managers—as well as scientists.

Learn more, apply for funding, or browse ongoing and completed research projects at



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