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Fire Forecasting

Predictive Services provides decision-support information to the U.S. Forest Service and other federal, tribal, state, and local wildland fire management agencies for operational management of and strategic planning for wildland firefighting assets, such as firefighters, aircraft, and engines.

Predictive Services units are located at the National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC) at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho and at each of the 10 geographic area coordination centers (GACCs).

Predictive Services supports many types of decisions, including pre-positioning and distribution of firefighting assets; initial and extended attack asset needs; increasing/decreasing assets; fire management strategies; severity funding; and contracting of assets. This is accomplished through analysis of weather and climate, fuels, and fire activity. Predictive Services consists of three primary functions:

Fire weather and climate Meteorologists analyze a variety of weather products and services to provide briefings and outlooks for current and forecasted conditions, and in some cases provide spot weather and smoke forecasts. A number of innovative products and tools have been created to help fire managers assess fire potential and high risk areas.

Fuels and fire danger - Wildland Fire Analysts provide predictions and condition reports on fuels, fire danger, fire behavior, fire occurrence statistics, and asset needs.

Fire activity and firefighting asset intelligence - Intelligence staff provide fire management personnel, incident managers, firefighters and support staff with access to current intelligence on preparedness levels, fire situation, assets, mapping and satellite imagery, climatology, preparedness levels, asset availability, rotation schedules, and fire potential information.


Predictive Services performs a variety of functions necessary to provide critical fire weather and climate and fire behavior and danger information to decision-makers. These include:   

            Monthly and seasonal outlooks of climate and fire potential 

            7-day outlooks of significant fire potential 

            Daily assessments of critical fire conditions 

            Routine briefings to fire managers and decision-makers

            Fuels and fire behavior advisories