Assessing the three dimensional vegetation structure is important in fire management. Manually mapping forest structural characteristics is time consuming and hence expensive and automated methods should prove beneficial. In this research I investigated the use of airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) for mapping vegetation height and canopy cover and to derive information on the understory. Airborne LiDAR data provided good quality information on both vegetation height and canopy cover, but understory information was more uncertain. The use of automated hand-held LiDAR data collection to obtain information on the understory and to complement the airborne LiDAR data was investigated and looks to have strong potential.