Predictive Services Program Overview
Predictive Services was developed to provide decision support information needed to be more proactive in anticipating significant fire activity and determining resource allocation needs. Predictive Services consists of three primary functions: fire weather, fire danger/fuels, and intelligence/resource status information. It functions under the guidance of the National Predictive Services Subcommittee (NPSS), which is chartered under NWCG to provide leadership and direction for the program. Predictive Service staff units are located at the National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC) and the Geographic Area Coordination Centers (GACCs) across the country.
National Predictive Services Subcommittee: The committee consists of 10 members who represent the federal wildland fire agencies, the National Association of State Foresters, the National Weather Service, the Intelligence and Meteorology Working Groups (chartered under NPSS) and field managers. The goal of NPSS is to promote safe, efficient and cost-effective fire management practices. Through collaborative leadership, with input from user groups at all levels, the NPSS strives to continually improve the quality, accuracy, and relevance of decision support products provided through the multi-agency coordination system to fire managers and users nationwide.
Intelligence: The Intelligence Section provides fire management personnel, incident managers, firefighters and support staff with access to current intelligence on preparedness levels, fire situation, resources, mapping and satellite imagery, climatology, preparedness levels, resource availability, rotation schedules, and fire potential information.
Weather: 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 & Fire Danger: Wildland Fire Analysts, stationed or detailed at some locations, provide predictions and condition reports on fuels, fire danger, fire behavior, fire occurrence statistics, and resource needs.
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Daily Outlooks integrate a variety of weather forecast products into a single summary product that displays the temperature, relative humidity, windspeed & direction and other fire weather conditions across individual Geographic Areas. It is posted daily during the fire season and in some cases includes a day-two forecast. This product has not yet been adapted by all Predictive Service units.
7-Day Fire Potential Outlooks was designed to determine when and where regionally and nationally shared resources would be in demand across the U.S. during the next 7 days. It combines forecasted fuel dryness with significant weather triggers to identify high risk areas. The product is posted daily during fire season and forecasts significant fire potential for the next 7 days. A national map is under development to display fire potential across the country for each day of the forecast period.
Monthly Outlooks and Seasonal Trend Forecasts are normally posted on the first workday of each month and produced with input from all of the Geographic Area Predictive Service units using the most recent weather and fuels data available. These outlooks are general reports with attached maps intended to provide fire management personnel with an area-wide outlook and prediction of where the greatest fire potential will exist during the following month with a trend forecast for the following 3-month period.
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