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FHAES: The Fire History Analysis and Exploration System


The Fire History Analysis and Exploration System (FHAES) is a suite of tools for calculating the statistics and provide graphics used to describe disturbance – particularly fire – regimes and their relationship to climate. Other disturbances that can be described with these tools include insect infestations, avalanche patterns, flooding, and cold snaps.


Logo for the FHAES tool.
Logo for the FHAES tool.
Managers use this information to characterize disturbance regimes and assess how ecosystems are functioning now compared to the past. Documenting the natural range of variation of disturbance in an area is a required element of land management planning.

Overview and Applicability

The Fire History Analysis and Exploration System is a suite of Java applications for the user to input data and calculate statistics used to present fire regime characteristics.

Note: Documentation for FHAES is still being finalized but useful information about how data is formatted, the tests performed, etc. can be found in the original FHX2 documentation (Grissino-Mayer 2006).

Supporting Documents

Grissino-Mayer, H.D. 2001. FHX2-software for analyzing temporal and spatial patterns in fire regimes from tree rings. Tree-Ring Research. 57(1):115-124.

Grissino-Mayer, H.D. 2006. FHX2-software for the analysis of fire history from tree rings: User's manual. University of Tennessee, Department of Geography, Knoxville, TN. 88 p.


  • Data from tree ring records (e.g., date of fire scars, tree age, tree ring widths).
  • Auxiliary climate and topographic data.


  • High-quality graphics showing the temporal and spatial characteristics of a site's disturbance history.
  • Fire history statistics (e.g., mean fire interval, Weibull modal interval, minimum fire interval).
  • Temporal and spatial characteristics of disturbance histories (e.g., seasonality of fires, synchronicity of disturbance events).

Example of master fire history produced by FHAES (figure from Grissino-Mayer 2001).
Example of master fire history produced by FHAES (figure from Grissino-Mayer 2001).



Restrictions and Limitations

FHAES is open source and provided without charge. When you have used FHAES in your research please cite the software.  Depending on your referencing style the citation should be something like:

Sutherland, E. K.; Brewer, P. W.; Velásquez, M. E.; Falk, D. A.; Grissino-Mayer, H. D. 2015. Fire History Analysis and Exploration System (Version 2.0.0-SNAPSHOT). Retrieved from


Sutherland, E.K., Brewer, P., Velasquez, M.E., and Falk, D.A. FHAES: The Fire History Analysis and Exploration System. Available online at

Release Notes

FHAES is derived from an earlier program (FHX2), but is improved by the development of new statistics and with results being easily transported to spreadsheets and GIS systems. We continue to add new statistical analyses, working with student programmers at the University of Wisconsin who write apps in class and compete to have their app used in FHAES. 

National Priority Research Areas: 
Forest Disturbances
RMRS Science Program Areas: 
Forest and Woodland Ecosystems
RMRS Strategic Priorities: 
Disturbance Ecology; Fire Sciences
Brewer, P.
Velasquez, M.E.
Falk, D.A.