The Aerial Firefighting Use and Effectiveness study started in 2013 with the expectation to develop a aircraft modernization strategy for wildland fire.  The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended the Forest Service expand its efforts to collect information on the performance and effectiveness of the federal firefighting aircraft fleet.

The Aerial Firefighting Use and Effectiveness (AFUE) Study was initiated in 2013 to answer a general, but complex question: “What are the best mixes of aircraft to do any fire suppression job?” Data collected from this study and other sources will be used to inform decisions about the composition of the interagency wildland firefighting aircraft fleet.

The nationwide, multi-year AFUE study is chartered by the U.S. Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management Program. The AFUE Study uses four “observation modules,” each comprised of three qualified firefighters, as well as a dedicated aircraft, to collect ground and aerial data at wildfires throughout the nation during fire season.

To read the full report, download it from the USFS here.