National Fire Decision Support Center (NFDSC)

Decision Analysis Delivery

What is the National Fire Decision Support Center (NFDSC)?

The NFDSC is a collaborative effort between Fire and Aviation Management and Research and Development. It is located at the National Interagency Fire Center and provides a key link between wildland fire science development and the appropriate application of that science. The NFDSC delivers:

  • Corporate decision support and monitoring;
  • Improvement in supporting fire science so risk models can be enhanced;
  • Development of fire economic models to inform agency administrator decisions;
  • State of the art risk management protocols; and
  • Social science that helps inform decisions.


The NFDSC provides these deliverables through the efforts of several program areas. The program areas of NFDSC are described below;

Human Factors and Risk Management RD&A - supports a risk management framework for the wildland fire environment.

Fire and Aviation Management - is the primary sponsor of NFDSC working in collaboration with Research and Development who will provide oversight, coordination and management of NFDSC.

Fire Spread Research - supports the enhancement of fire behavior fundamentals to improve, or replace existing fire models used to support fire management decisions, and develops methods to better describe fuel beds used to drive fire modeling. Improvement of fire models is central to the ability to measure performance, provide accurate decision support information, and evaluate value changes to structures and infrastructure.

Fire Economics Research - provides spatial tools to evaluate wildfire risk. Through the integration of fire behavior models and the spatial representation of the location and potential value change to important human development and natural resource values, Fire Economics Research supports assessment of performance metrics for large fires and facilitates an increased understanding of factors affecting large fire cost.

Wildland Fire Management RD&A - serves as a focal point for wildland fire decision support by concentrating on; various fire analyses, advancing decision support research, development and delivery of training related to decision support, promoting the agency's management of large fire costs, and development and enhancement of decision support tools and processes.

Some of the WFM RD&A's specific roles within the NFDSC are as follows:

  • Conduct decision support analyses for large fires under Federal jurisdiction.
  • Develop, improve, and increase production and operational use of decision support products.
  • Provide practical mentoring and other means to strengthen decision support capacity at regional and field levels.
  • Provide refresher and currency training for non-NFDSC analysts.
  • Develop a comprehensive plan for integrating new knowledge into existing wildland fire curricula.
  • Provide a primary point of contact for communication between scientists and participating field managers.
  • To act as an advisor to program administrators at local, regional, and national levels.
  • Strengthen post-fire reviews and evaluations to improve applications and develop lessons learned