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Fire Effects Information System (FEIS): Syntheses of information on fire effects and fire regimes

January, 1986

Tussock cottongrass growing in post-fire nutrient-rich soils in Gates of the Arctic National Park
Tussock cottongrass growing in Gates of the Arctic National Park (photo courtesy of the National Park Service).
Thousands of scientific articles and reports are published each year on wildland fire, making it difficult for managers, planners, and scientists to find, read, and use the best available science. A team of ecologists reviews this information and publishes syntheses online in the Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) so managers can easily find and better apply science to land management decisions.

FEIS offers four peer-reviewed publication types: Species Reviews, Fire Regime Syntheses, Fire Regime Reports, and Fire Studies:

  • Species Reviews are syntheses of the published literature covering the biology, ecology, and fire effects on plants and animals in the United States. There are approximately 1,100 Species Reviews in FEIS.

  • Fire Regime Syntheses integrate LANDFIRE data with information from the scientific literature to provide in-depth information on historical fire regimes and address contemporary changes in fuels and fire regimes.

  • Fire Regime Reports summarize and facilitate access to LANDFIRE data, however they do not include syntheses of the scientific literature. Both Fire Regime Syntheses and Fire Regime Reports connect LANDFIRE data to all of the Species Reviews in FEIS. Through Fire Regime Syntheses and Reports, FEIS contains fire regime information for all of the plant communities in the United States.

  • Fire Studies are summaries of one or more fire research projects at a specific location. Fire Studies cover research that provides detailed descriptions of site characteristics, burning conditions, fire behavior, and fire effects. Fire Studies provide information on hundreds of species for which Species Reviews are not available.

All FEIS publications provide a wealth of information for land managers, with applications in fuels and fire management and postfire restoration. FEIS is used by managers in federal land management agencies, states, tribal lands, nongovernment conservation organizations, as well as private land owners, university students and scientists, and the general public.

The Fire Effects Library houses the literature that supports FEIS syntheses. The library contains more than 60,000 references on fire ecology and fire regimes in North America. References are catalogued in an online database, the Citation Retrieval System (CRS).

To add to the library, FEIS staff regularly search scientific abstracts, literature databases, and tables of contents from refereed scientific journals and government publication lists. Other library acquisitions include theses and dissertations, conference proceedings, and unpublished reports. A link to the list of scientific literature regularly searched is provided here. Users are encouraged to use CRS to supplement information from FEIS reviews.

The Fire Effects Information System celebrated it's 30th anniversary in 2016.


Cooke, Brian ; Smith, Jane K. ; Innes, Robin J. ; Fryer, Janet L. ; Zouhar, Kris ; Abrahamson, Ilana L. ; Murphy, Shannon ; Masin, Eva , 2015
Smith, Jane Kapler ; Fryer, Janet L. ; Zouhar, Kristin L. , 2009

Principal Investigators:
Robin J. Innes - RTL Networks Inc.

Research Staff:
Eva Masin - Rocky Mountain Research Station

Funding Contributors:
US Forest Service Washington Office Fire and Aviation Management
Joint Fire Science Program
National Interagency Fuels Fire and Vegetation Technology