New index improves fire weather forecasting

OREGON—Predicting the weather is notoriously complicated, which can be a challenge for fire managers. Weather plays a major role in how a wildfire behaves and whether it might become erratic or endanger firefighters. For 30 years, fire weather forecasters used the “Haines Index” to assess how weather might intensify wildfire and drive its spread.

Dispatch academy receives regional forester's award

COLORADO—Year after year, hundreds of wildland fire dispatch positions go unfilled due to the low number of qualified applicants.

In 2018 the Rocky Mountain Coordination Center and the Job Corps Fire Program brought together a group of forward-thinking problem-solvers to change this status quo. With their sights set on training and qualifying a new generation of wildland fire dispatchers, they established a pilot Forest Service Job Corps Dispatch Academy.