Field Guide

Icon for Field Guide resources

Preparedness guide for wildland firefighters and their families

View guide.

A Preparedness Guide for Wildland Firefighters and Their Families provides honest information, resources, and conversation starters to give you, the wildland firefighter, tools that will be helpful in preparing yourself and your support network for the realities of your career. This publication does not set any standards or mandates; rather, it is intended to provide you with helpful information to bridge the gap between wellness and managing the unexpected. This publication helps firefighters and support networks such as family members, significant others, and friends prepare for and respond to planned and unplanned situations in the world of wildland firefighting. Some sections of this guide are written for the firefighter, while other sections are intended to be shared directly with support networks

Icon for Field Guide resources

Sustainable ranch management assessment guidebook: A communications tool for agencies, ranchers, and technical service providers

View guidebook.

This guidebook is to help the rancher and/or land manager use business planning and ecological monitoring to ensure the ranch or land is managed in a sustainable manner.

Icon for Field Guide resources

Year-round field identification of common northern Great Basin grasses

View field guide.

This guide provides detailed identification information for common grass species found throughout the northern Great Basin. Many of these grasses are found throughout the Great Basin. Several can be found throughout the West

Icon for Field Guide resources

Wildfire home retrofit guide

View guide.

This Guide includes specific recommendations for how to retrofit existing components of a home to withstand wildfre. Each section contains an explanation of how the component is vulnerable to wildfire and what can be done to improve that component. The illustrations throughout the Guide are intended to show best practices for reducing the vulnerability of a home to wildfire.

Icon for Field Guide resources

Smoke Management Guide for Prescribed Fire

View guide.

The NWCG Smoke Management Guide for Prescribed Fire contains information on prescribed fire smoke management techniques, air quality regulations, smoke monitoring, modeling, communication, public perception of prescribed fire and smoke, climate change, practical meteorological approaches, and smoke tools. The primary focus of this document is to serve as the textbook in support of NWCG’s RX-410, Smoke Management Techniques course which is required for the position of Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Type 2 (RXB2). The Guide is useful to all who use prescribed fire, from private land owners to federal land managers, with practical tools, and underlying science. Many chapters are helpful for addressing air quality impacts from wildfires. It is intended to assist those who are following the guidance of the NWCG’s Interagency Prescribed Fire Planning and Implementation Procedures Guide, PMS 484,  in planning for, and addressing, smoke when conducting prescribed fires.

Icon for Field Guide resources

Shrub management handbook for Utah rangelands

View handbook.

This handbook is a guide to developing realistic project plans and implementing appropriate management strategies by enhancing your understanding of basic shrub biology, ecological concepts,and management principles.

Sea of cheatgrass

The Cheatgrass Challenge: Resources, Efforts, and Partnerships

Cheatgrass Challenge webpage.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Idaho and Wyoming have teamed up with each other along with partners in their respective states to address cheatgrass proliferation in the West. The Cheatgrass Challenge is a call to arms for agricultural producers, federal and state agencies, educational institutions and non-profit organizations.

As the Challenge develops, the webpage will be updated with additional information and resources, so check back regularly for updates.

Icon for Field Guide resources

Fuel Characteristic Classification System (FCCS) field sampling and fuelbed development guide

View guide.

The Fuel Characteristic Classification System (FCCS) was designed to store and archive wildland fuel characteristics within fuelbeds, defined as the inherent physical characteristics of fuels that contribute to fire behavior and effects. The FCCS represents fuel characteristics in six strata including canopy, shrubs, herbaceous fuels, downed wood, litter-lichen-moss, and ground fuels. Each stratum is further divided into one or more categories and subcategories to represent the complexity of wildland and managed fuels. A variety of techniques to measure and summarize fuelbed data are detailed in this guide. This guide is organized by strata and categories to facilitate data input into FCCS fuelbeds and provides field sampling forms by stratum. The first section provides an overview of how FCCS reference fuelbeds were constructed from databases, literature sources, and expert opinion. The guide next describes how regional pathway fuelbeds can provide a systematic set of management fuelbeds that track vegetation and fuel succession over time as well as management activities such as prescribed burning and mechanical thinning. The final section details common field sampling methodologies for users who wish to use field measurements to construct FCCS fuelbeds.

Icon for Field Guide resources

Fuels guide for sagebrush and pinyon-juniper treatments: 10 years post-treatment

Access field guide.

Using data collected as part of the Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP), this guide summarizes fuel loads, vegetation cover by functional group, and shrub and tree stem density 10 years after sagebrush and pinyon-juniper reduction treatments. The data was collected at 16 study sites in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Utah, and is summarized by treatment type, region, and  roups or woodland development phases based on pre-treatment vegetation. These summarized data  an be used by land managers and fire behavior specialists to quickly estimate fuel loads in older treatments or to predict fuel loads 10 years after a potential treatment. These fuel loading data can be used to create custom fuel beds to model fire behavior and effects.

Icon for Field Guide resources

Wildfire smoke: A guide for public health officials

Access the guide.

This document, originally developed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), is designed to help local public health officials prepare for smoke events, to take measures to protect the public when smoke is present, and communicate with the public about wildfire smoke and health.

Narrow your search

Stay Connected