Daily Burn Day Status for Projects and Woodcutting

This webpage is updated starting May 2019 with information from the Camino Interagency Emergency Command Center.  This information is also available on the phone recording at 530-295-5699.

Daily Status of Indices, Activity Levels, and Burn Day Status

Actual Date: 

Predicted Date: 

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Actual Predicted
Burning Index (BI)  


Project Activity Level (PAL)


Adjective Rating L    
Energy Release Component (ERC)    
Ignition Component (IC)  



Burn Day Information

Permit Required:

Burn Permits are required. A special permit may be required from your local Air Pollution Control District.


Call phone number below - EASTERN EL DORADO COUNTY

Call phone number below. - EASTERN PLACER COUNTY

Contact Your Local Fire Agency. - STATE OF NEVADA

Additional Information:

For Burn Day Information over the phone, please call (888) 332-2876 for EL Dorado County

For Burn Day Information over the phone, please call (800) 998-2876 for Placer County

Contact your local fire department for residence of the State of Nevada



The Indexes and Activity Levels serve a variety of purposes. For example Contractors need to be aware of the Project Activity Level. Woodcutters need to monitor the Sale Activity Level. Firefighters and Fuels Officers utilize the others.

The following are descriptions or links to descriptions of different Indices and Levels:

  • Project Activity Level - PAL is a scientifically-based “decision support process” to provide a fire precautionary system for industrial operations on National Forest lands in California. It’s goal is to balance the reduction in the ignition risk of large damaging wildfires with the accomplishment of resource (forest projects) management activities.
    • PAL is a danger-rating climatology-based system. It considers the effects of weather conditions for the last 30-45 days and overall seasonality.
      • A = Woodcutting allowed. Approved Spark arrestor required on chainsaws. Shovel and/or working fire extinguisher required, patrol area after cutting.
      • B = Woodcutting allowed. Approved Spark arrestor required on chainsaws. Shovel and/or working fire extinguisher required, patrol area after cutting.
      • C = Woodcutting allowed. Approved Spark arrestor required on chainsaws. Shovel and/or working fire extinguisher required, patrol area after cutting.
      • D = Woodcutting allowed until 1 p.m. Approved Spark arrestor required on chainsaws. Shovel and/or working fire extinguisher required, patrol area after cutting.  
      • EV or E = No woodcutting allowed
    • For more information on PAL, visit the Pacific Southwest Region Fire and Aviation Management webpage.
    • The Project Activity Level is derived from a matrix using the Energy Release Component (ERC) and Ignition Component (IC) outputs from the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) processor within the Weather Information Management System (WIMS). WIMS receives weather observations from Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) which are used to calculate ERC and IC. PAL uses ERC to better represent large fuel moistures and weather from the previous 30-45 days to reduce significant fluctuations in activity levels on a daily basis.
  • Burning Index - The Burning Index (BI) is an NFDRS index relating to the flame length at the head of the fire. BI is an estimate of the potential difficulty of fire control as a function of how fast and how hot a fire could burn. It has been scaled so that the BI value divided by 10 predicts the flame length at the head of a fire. For example, a BI of 75 would predict a flame length of 7.5 feet. BI is a function of the Spread Component and the Energy Release Component, and has moderate variability. It is sensitive to fuel models, and can trace seasonal trends reasonably well for models with heavy dead or live components. Because it uses wind and relative humidity, it is also very sensitive to weather observation errors.
  • Adjective Rating (R) - A public information component of the NFDRS specific to the rating of fire danger. Adjective ratings are: low(L), moderate(M), high(H), very high(VH) and extreme(E).
  • Energy Release Component - The Energy Release Component (ERC) is an NFDRS index (National Fire Danger Rating System) related to how hot a fire could burn. It is directly related to the 24-hour, potential worst case, total available energy (BTUs) per unit area (in square feet) within the flaming front at the head of a fire. The ERC can serve as a good characterization of a fire season as it tracks seasonal fire danger trends well. The ERC is a function of the fuel model and live and dead fuel moistures. Fuel loading, woody fuel moistures, and larger fuel moistures all have an influence on the ERC, while the lighter fuels have less influence and wind speed has none. ERC has low variability, and is the best fire danger component for indicating the effects of intermediate to long-term drying on fire behavior (if it is a significant factor) although it is not intended for use as a drought index.
  • Ignition Component (IC) - Related to the probability of a firebrand producing a fire that will require suppression action. It is mainly a function of the 1 hour time lag (fine fuels) fuel moisture content and the temperature of the receptive fine fuels. IC has no units. A percentage of probability from 1-100.


Understanding Fire Danger Adjectives

  • Extreme
    • Fires start quickly, spread duriously, and burn intensely
    • All fires are potentially serious
    • Development into high intensity burning will usually be faster and occur from smaller fires than during Very High fire danger
    • Every fire start has the potential to become large
    • Expect extreme, erratic fire behavior
    • Fire restrictions are generally in effect
  • Very High
    • Fires start easily from all causes and immediately after ignition, spread rapidly and increse quickly in intensity
    • Spot fires are a constant danger
    • Fires burning in light fuels may quickly develop high intensity characteristics, such as long-distance spotting and fire whirlwinds when they burn in heavier fuels
    • Both suppression and mop-up will require an extended and very thorough effore
    • Outdoor burning is not recommended
    • Fire restrictions may be in effect
  • High
    • All fine dead fuels ignite readily and fires start easily from most causes. Unattended brush and camp fires are likely to escape. Fires spread rapidly and short-distance spotting is common. Fires may become serious and their control is difficult unless they are attacked successfully while small. Outdoor burning should be restricted to early morning or late evening hours.
  • Moderate
    • Fires can start from most accidental causes, but with the exception of lightning fires in some areas, the number of starts is generally low. Expect moderate flame length and rate of spread. Short-distance spotting may occur, but is not persistent. Fires are not likely to become serious and control is relatively easy. Although controlled burining can be done without creating a hazard, routine caution should be taken.
  • Low
    • Fuels do not ignite readily from small firebrands, although a more intense heat source, such as lightning, may start fires in duff or punky wood. Weather and fuel conditions will lead to slow fire spread, low intensity and relatively easy control with light mop-up. There is little danger of spotting. Controlled burns can usually be executed with reasonable safety.