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The Fire Danger PocketCard

The Fire Danger PocketCard is a tool based on the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) to help the firefighter develop an awareness of the current fire situation that you are about to step into.

The prime objective of the NFDRS is to provide a measure of the seriousness of local burning conditions. The PocketCard provides a visual reference of those conditions and how they compare to previous fire seasons.

  • What is Fire Danger Rating?
    • A decision aid that describes the factors - fuels, weather and topography - which affect the initiation, spread and difficulty of control of wildfires on an area.
    • We emphasize aid because fire danger rating information is not the answer by itself; it must be considered along with local knowledge of an area.
  • What will the Fire Danger PocketCard do?
    • The Fire Danger PocketCard is useful in initial fire size up, initial attack and extended attack.
    • The Fire Danger PocketCard gives firefighters a general indicator of the potential for the fuels to support extreme fire behavior and of the difficulty of control.
  • What won't the Fire Danger PocketCard do?
    • The Fire Danger PocketCard will not provide site specific fire behavior predictions.
  • How Do Firefighters use the Fire Danger PocketCards?
    • Compare current and predicted local fire danger to historical local fire danger in order to enhance situational awareness.
    • Use this information to be aware of indicators that predict the potential for extreme fire behavior.

Talking Points

Designed to help the local unit provide PocketCard briefing to all firefighting resources.
Initial Attack - Extended Attack - Large Fire

More Information / References

Gaining an Understanding of NFDRS (.pdf file)
Definition of Burning Index (BI)
Burning Index/Fire Behavior Cross Reference
Definition of Energy Release Component (ERC)
Explanations of Fire Danger Adjective Ratings