ENFP 489W/629W: Wildland Fires: Science and Application (Technical Elective)

(3 credits)

Course note: The course will be taught as a dual senior-level undergraduate course, ENFP 489W and graduate course, ENFP 629W.



  • Permission of the Department


  • Material provided online by instructor

Course Description

  • This course presents an introduction to the global problem of wildland fires with an overview of the social, political and environmental issues posed as well as detailed coverage of the science, technology and applications used to predict, prevent and suppress wildland fires. Some specific topics covered will include relevant codes and standards, remote sensing, fire spread theory, risk mapping, research instrumentation, suppression, ignition sources and extreme fire behavior. Engineering analyses in many of these areas, as well as specific coverage of Fire Protection design in the Wildland-Urban Interface will also be covered.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing this course, the student should be able to:

  • Know the major problems affecting wildland fires
  • Know some environmental, ecological, social, economic and political factors affecting wildfires
  • Predict the spread rate and intensity of wildland fires
  • Assess protection of WUI communities
  • Understand the underlying mechanisms affecting wildland fires

Tentative Couse Outline

  • Background on Wildland Fires
  • Ecology and Fuels
  • Ignition Phenomena
  • Ignition and Fire Behavior Experiments
  • Fire Spread and Fire Intensity
  • Computer Fire Models
  • Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) including fire protection design in the WUI
  • Measurements in Fire
  • Remote Sensing
  • Meteorology/Fire Weather
  • Extreme Fire Behavior (Including Mass Fires and Fire Whirls)
  • Suppression and Attack
  • Fire Management