Analysis of Remote Weather Station (RAWS) data for effective coverage
Document Type: Report
Author(s): Kato Howard
Publication Year: 2000

Cataloging Information

  • AFS - Alaska Fire Service
  • CFFDRS - Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System
  • FBP - CFFDRS Fire Behavior Prediction System
  • FFMC - CFFDRS Fine Fuel Moisture Code
  • fuel moisture
  • FWI - CFFDRS Fire Weather Index System
  • RAWS - Remote Automated Weather Station
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: May 5, 2016
FRAMES Record Number: 16976


As fire managers we are responsible for providing the public with the most cost efficient system of fire protection and management. We are tasked with using personnel and equipment at their most efficient and safe level. To obtain these levels of efficiency and safety, we have to ensure that fire personnel are provided the training, tools and information about the fire environment. Currently our primary tools for making projections, decisions and assumptions about fire, come from computers and electronic environmental sensing equipment. Over the last twenty years a network of Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) has been set up throughout Alaska. The gathering of information about the fire environment through the use of RAWS is the primary source for empirical weather data. This data can be used by a variety of people for many purposes. The National Weather Service, fire managers, flight services and the local public rely on information gathered and displayed from the sites. Fire managers use these sites to help them make decisions about staffing, probability of ignition, resistance to control/extinguishment and fire behavior. With these types of decisions occurring in an ecosystem that is fire dependent, it is incumbent of fire staff personnel to ensure that these sites are located where they will provide the best coverage and information. The study area is contained within the boundaries of Alaska Fire Services' management area, in the Upper Yukon Zone. Data was used from four RAWS sites, in the southeastern corner of the zone. (Appendix #6) Precipitation and drought code data taken from these sites were statistically analyzed. Data was initially T-tested for normality. Assumptions of normality and skewness were not supported by T-testing. Regression testing of the data did not provide adequate correlation. Further testing by Mean Differences was done. Assumptions of normality were not met in this process, without the transformation of variables. A fourth test, Nonparametrics Comparing Two Variables, the Wilcoxon Test was performed. A cost matrix and Geographic Information System map of fire history (Appendix #7) were created in support of this study. This paper was submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Technical Fire Management program.

Kato, Howard. 2000. Analysis of Remote Weather Station (RAWS) data for effective coverage. Technical Fire Management Paper TFM-14-313. Duvall, WA: Washington Institute. 27 p.