FireBusting Weather Forecasts
The complex terrain in mountainous areas has complex impacts on wind and weather. As the Weather Service does not provide forecasts that capture these details, regional computer models can enhance the official forecasts. But this high-resolution weather information is usually not available until after a severe fire event is over; thus, the benefits of high-resolution weather models for fire management have been limited. To address this limitation, Forest Service scientists developed an experimental system called FireBuster. FireBuster is designed to produce forecasts at 5 km (about 3 mile) resolution over Southern California. A field forecaster can request a special 1 km (about 0.6 mile) resolution 72-hour forecast with only a few clicks on a Google map. The results can be retrieved through a web interface (computed in 6-hour increments). FireBuster provides firefighters with location-specific, detailed weather forecasts, including winds, and could help save lives and protect communities.
Forest Service Partners