Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    The Haines Index is used in wildland fire management to evaluate the potential for ‘large and/or erratic’ fire behaviour. Published in 1988 as the Lower Atmospheric Severity Index, it was widely adopted and has become popular among fire managers, especially in the United States. Meteorologists have questioned its validity, however. This study revisits the original publication to consider the scientific basis of the Index. It then examines subsequent studies of the Index’s performance. The original Index formulation is found to be incomplete. Some studies suggest that, nonetheless, there may be some association of the Index with large growth events. Others indicate that the Index can be negatively correlated with growth in some situations. The Index, at present, lacks a scientific basis and the limited studies examining its value are inconclusive. It is unclear whether it would more appropriately be revised or replaced.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Potter, Brian. 2018. The Haines Index – it's time to revise it or replace it. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 27(7): 437-440.


    Google Scholar


    Atmospheric stability, fire weather.

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page