Topic outline

  • Course Overview

    red map of australia with a warning exclamation mark sign over the topFire weather warnings and specialised fire weather products are key outputs of a fire weather forecaster. This is where the forecaster adds a lot of value to the information provided and really tailors the weather data for the specific user need.

    This course is a collection of learning resources that relate to Unit 2 of the fire weather forecasting competencies: Produce Fire Weather Warnings and Specialised Products.

    The technical skills of producing hazard grids and issuing fire weather warnings are covered in the GFE Fire Weather Forecasting Course.

    Please start by looking at the learning guide and the learning outcomes then use the links in the Course Topics block to navigate to different parts of the course.

  • Learning Outcomes

    figure with a tickThis course relates to the underpinning knowledge, skills and systems from Unit 2 of the fire weather forecasting competencies. By the end of this course you will be able to:

    • Explain the thresholds for fire weather hazards in your region
    • Describe the public weather district boundaries and fire weather forecast district boundaries (particularly any differences)
    • Explain the thresholds to issue specialised products
    • Explain the thresholds to issue fire weather warnings
    • Describe in general terms your State or Territory Fire Agency requirements
    • Describe regional procedures regarding specialised products and warnings as outlined in the Regional Fire Weather Directive
    • Develop skills using the forecast preparation system to issue specialised products and fire weather warnings.
    • Fire Weather Warnings

      red warning light

      Fire Weather Warnings are issued in different regions at different times of the year (usually during the "Official Fire Season").

      Fire Weather Warnings are issued when the fire danger index or fire danger rating exceeds a certain threshold. These thresholds, and the particular type of fire danger index used, vary between each region.

      Make sure you know what your regional thresholds are by reading your Regional Fire Weather Directive.

    • Total Fire Bans

      total fire ban symbolIn many regions, the decision to issue a Total Fire Ban is made by the Fire Agency, rather than the Bureau of Meteorology. The fire weather forecaster still has a critical role to play, providing a detailed briefing which is used to help the fire agency staff to make their decision.

      The resources below give some regional tips about producing TFBs. You need to be aware of what your region does as outlined in the fire weather directive.

    • Wind Change Charts

      example wind change chart

      South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales Regions all produce Wind Change Charts in Visual Weather. Detailed instructions about this process are contained in the document below. This is the Victorian version of the instructions as written by Dean Sgarbossa.

      Note that the final process of sending the product to the agencies varies in each region, so you will need to check your fire weather directive or fire forecasters handbook for this.