The McArthur Forest and Grassland Fire Danger Meters

The Fire Danger Index given by these meters is directly related to the chances of a fire starting, its rate of spread, intensity and difficulty of suppression according to various combinations of temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and both long and short term drought effects.

The McArthur forest and grassland fire danger meters estimate fire behaviour from measurements of wind speed, fuel moisture content and drought for specific fuel types. They also combine the most important fire danger variables to estimate rate of fire spread and flame height. They work best during long, dry periods, when grasses are fully cured and when forest fuels do not contain residual moisture from recent rain and the maximum amount of fuel is available for combustion.

Local variation of wind speed will occur, particularly in mountain topography, and fire fighters must take care to observe the wind speed in a clear, open site. They must not be lulled into a false sense of security by the presence of relatively light winds on sheltered aspects or in the lee of the convection column of a large fire.

RATES OF SPREAD, FLAME HEIGHTS AND BEHAVIOUR PREDICTIONS ARE ALL MINIMUM AND SEVERE BEHAVIOUR WELL ABOVE THE METER'S PREDICTIONS MAY BE EXPECTED AT FIRE DANGER RATINGS OF HIGH, VERY HIGH OR EXTREME.

Grassland Fire Danger Meter MkIV & V

The grassland fire danger index is calculated from air temperature, relative humidity and wind speed. It also varies according to the greeness or curing of the pasture. It provides a figure directly related to the chances of a fire starting, its rate of spread, difficulty of control and the amount of damage it will do.

McArthur Grassland Mk4 Meter javascript

McArthur Grassland Mk5 Meter javascript

Forest Fire Danger Meter MkV

The forest fire danger meter estimates fire behaviour in a tall eucalypt forest from measurements of drought, recent rainfall, temperature, relative humidity and wind speed.

McArthur Forest Mk5 Meter javascript


These programs are based on a paper by Noble, Bary and Gill "McArthur's fire-danger meters expressed as equations" 1980.