5th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology and the 2nd International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress

Tuesday, 18 November 2003: 8:00 AM
Predictive Services: A New Tool for Proactive Wildland Fire Management
Richard Ochoa, Bureau of Land Management, Boise, ID
Poster PDF (310.2 kB)
After the 2000 US fire season, a National Fire Plan (NFP) was implemented to better manage fire impacts and reduce the risk to communities. The NFP identified the need for a more proactive approach to anticipating fire activity and pre-positioning resources through the integration of fire weather, fire danger/fuels information and intelligence. Fire weather meteorologists were hired under the NFP to team up with intelligence officers and wildland fire analysts to form Predictive Service units at national and geographic area coordination centers.

Predictive Services helps fire managers anticipate where the fire problems will be today, tomorrow and for the next 7-10 days, including estimates on the number of large incidents per fire episode. The units produce weekly, monthly and seasonal fire weather / fire danger outlooks, daily briefings and various resource/intelligence reports. Examples of products will be discussed in the paper including success stories such as the Pacific Northwest Predictive Service unit providing four days advance warning of a major dry lightning outbreak in Washington and Oregon in August 2001. The significant pre-positioning of assets including incident management teams, engines and crews allowed for quick suppression of dozens of small fire starts. This action resulted in improved public/firefighter safety and tremendous cost saving

Supplementary URL: