The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) is responsible for both managing fires in support of sound ecosystem management as well as the suppression of wildfires for the protection of lives and property. Effective fire management requires a thorough understanding of all of the different influences on a fire’s potential to start and spread. To do this effectively requires both knowledge and experience.
Certain parameters which influence the potential for fire start and spread, like weather forecasts, fuel types, fuel moisture readings, and topographic features on the land are all readily available from any number of different sources. Effective fire managers must take this available information and apply their past fire experience to truly understand and predict a fire’s potential under any given set of often rapidly changing conditions.
Read more about the daily fire danger rating.
VDOF fire managers rely on daily weather forecasts and their knowledge of seasonal weather patterns to both pick ideal periods for using prescribed fire in the management of Virginia’s forests, as well as for recognizing those periods when wildfires can be expected, to ensure the agency is ready to respond as needed to protect life and property.
Read more about fire weather and why the weather is so critical in managing fires.