Fire Weather Monitoring
FTS equipment is used to monitor environmental conditions for a variety of fire weather applications. Permanent or 'fixed' stations operate continually throughout the year to constantly collect and transmit data from remote locations to help forecast the danger of wildfires starting in a given area. Portable stations that can be set up in any location temporarily are a valuable tool for prescribed burning. When wildfires do occur, existing networks of fixed stations and the deployment of portable stations surrounding the fire greatly aid efforts to control and suppress the wildfire. But it's not only wildfires that create an immediate need to monitor weather conditions—natural or man-made disasters that have an environmental impact warrant the need to quickly mobilize weather stations to track the spread of contaminants.
Fire danger rating is the process of systematically evaluating and integrating the factors that determine the ease of a fire starting and spreading; the difficulty of control; and the resulting impacts based on an assessment of ignition risk, the fire environment (fuels, weather, and topography) and values at risk. A network of Fixed RAWS (Remote Automated Weather Station) strategically positioned and properly maintained is key to implementing accurate fire danger indices.
A general understanding of the separate and combined effects of several weather elements on fire behavior is needed to plan and execute a good prescribed burn. Because weather and fuel factors interact, an experienced prescribed burner can conduct a successful burn even with one or more factors slightly outside the desired range—as long as they are offset by other factors. The QD 'Quick Deploy' portable RAWS is a critical tool for conducting safe prescribed burns.