Research findings

The HighFire Risk Project



Citation Sharples, J.J., McRae, R.H.D., Weber, R.O. & Gill, A.M. (2009). A simple index for assessing fire danger rating. Environmental Modelling and Software 24, 764-774. doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2008.11.004

A simple index for assessing fire danger rating

Author(s) J.J. Sharples, R.H.D. McRae, R.O. Weber, A.M. Gill
Abstract Fire danger rating systems are used to assess the potential for bushfire occurrence, fire spread and difficulty of fire suppression. Typically, fire danger rating systems combine meteorological information with estimates of the moisture content of the fuel to produce a fire danger index. Fire danger indices are used to declare fire bans and to schedule prescribed burns, among other applications. In this paper a simple fire danger index F that is intuitive and easy to calculate is introduced and compared to a number of fire danger indices pertaining to different fuel types that are used in an operational setting in Australia and the United States. The comparisons suggest that F provides a plausible measure of fire danger rating and that it may be a useful pedagogical tool in the context of fire danger and fire weather.
Keywords Fire danger rating; Fire danger index; Bushfire weather; Bushfire management