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Fire Weather Professional Development Series

  • PCU 3: Make the Warning Decision - DRAFT

    Description of Job Duty Competency to be Achieved:

    Maintain knowledge of all relevant policies, integrate all relevant information and apply situational awareness to make appropriate warning decisions.

    Description of Need:

    Forecasters must make warning decisions which are used to protect life and property. These decisions are also used as an aid for resource allocation and management. There are evaluation methods in Red Flag Warning decisions that are unique and forecasters need to apply skills involving coordination and knowledge of non weather factors.

    • Ability 1. Configure one's working environment to optimize situational awareness.
      • Skill 1.1. Configure one's working environment to optimize situational awareness
      • Skill 1.2. Use best practices for fire weather warning situations to ensure all necessary information is readily available
    • Ability 2. Interact with fire managers, dispatchers and local government officials to assess the severity of the fire weather threat.
      • Skill 2.1. Interpret available resources designed to provide fire danger information.
      • Skill 2.2. Contact fire agency and other land management agency personnel to discuss fuels, weather and ongoing fire situations to determine if watch/warning is needed.
    • Ability 3. Using all available observational data, identify the critical fire weather threats and the locations where the threat is imminent.
      • Skill 3.1. Compare synoptic and mesoscale situation with "critical weather patterns"
      • Skill 3.2. Analyze data with fire weather parameters in mind.
      • Skill 3.3. Determine what weather threats will develop.
      • Skill 3.4. Identify areas that need to be warned.
    • Ability 4. Know your Red Flag Warning (RFW) criteria and apply the methodology of issuing warnings.
      • Skill 4.1. Compare RFW criteria to current and forecast conditions to see if a watch or warning is necessary.
    • Ability 5. Employ team decision making and coordination, and assess the impacts of any associated breakdowns.
      • Skill 5.1. Be aware of potential pitfalls in group decision making and recognize when they are occurring and return to more productive discussions.
      • Skill 5.2. Coordinate with other forecasters, WFOs, IMETs, and customers to decide whether to warn and details of warning product.
      • Skill 5.3. Include forecast confidence and knowledge of impacts on fire operations.
    • Ability 6. Identify the characteristics of situational awareness and their impacts on the warning decision. Incorporate sound situational awareness into the warning decision.
      • Skill 6.1. Monitor weather and fire situations. Be alert to changes in both and potential impacts on warning decisions.
    • Ability 7. Issue products and provide decision support during critical fire weather situations.
      • Skill 7.1. Write a warning that clearly communicates meteorological reasoning, duration and intensity of the event.

                                     Page last Modified: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 10:30 AM