Spot Weather Forecast

Spot weather forecasts should always be requested for fires that have the potential for active fire behavior, exceed initial attack, or are located in areas where Red Flag Warnings have been issued.

In addition, personnel should consider requesting a spot weather forecast for non-fire incidents, including HazMat or search and rescue activities.

The basic elements needed for a spot weather forecast include:

  • Name and type of incident (wildland fire, prescribed fire, HazMat, SAR)
  • Location by latitude/longitude or by 1/4 section
  • Incident size
  • Elevation (at top and bottom of incident)
  • Fuel type
  • Sheltering (full, partial, unsheltered)
  • Fire character (ground fire, crowning, spotting, etc…)

Weather observations need to include:

  • Location of the fire
  • Elevation of observation
  • Aspect of observation
  • Time of observation
  • Wind direction
  • Wind speed
  • Dry bulb
  • Wet bulb
  • RH
  • Dew point
  • Sky conditions (cloud types, dust devils, precipitation, etc…)

Finally, after you’ve received the spot weather forecast, consider providing feedback to forecaster, especially if conditions on the ground don’t match those in the forecast.