Getting information on potential fire behaviour in advance is vital for making timely preparations and planning. Fire Danger Rating Systems provide useful broad area fire weather forecast information. Firebreak Services can tailor and interpret fire weather information for local conditions and also provide training and advice on the appropriate use of the information.
Fire weather information, linked with an understanding of the seasonal condition of vegetation (fuels), helps the efficient and effective management of three key activities:
- Preparedness of both fire service and private sector wildfire suppression resources,
- Implementation of wildfire prevention programmes and media activity
- Muirburn and prescribed burning planning.
When conditions indicate there are going to be elevated levels of fire risk, Firebreak Services Ltd provides fire danger information to the Scottish Wildfire Forum and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. Appropriate warnings are then issued to: Government agencies, land management organisations, wildfire groups and the public via social media, TV, radio and print media. Often the elevated risk only covers a region and not the whole of Scotland. In these cases the distribution of information is limited, just to that area.
“A fire danger rating system (FDRS) is an assessment of both fixed and variable factors of the fire environment which determine: ease of ignition, rate of spread, difficulty of control and fire impact.” (Alexander & Merrill 1987)
Firebreak Services Ltd uses the European Forest Fire Information Service (EFFIS). The fire weather indices that are most appropriate for establishing levels of fire danger in UK conditions in the main spring fire season are the Fine Fuel Moisture Code (FFMC) and the Initial Spread Index (ISI).