Future of all-risk incident meteorology
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): M. A. Querciagrossa-Sand; J. Stutler; S. Goldwater; G. Bennett
Publication Year: 2003

Cataloging Information

  • catastrophic fires
  • computer programs
  • education
  • fire case histories
  • fire management
  • firefighting personnel
  • JFSP - Joint Fire Science Program
  • public information
  • weather observations
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: August 3, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 41510
Tall Timbers Record Number: 16428
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


The National Weather Service (NWS) has been a major contributor to the success of the U.S. Wildfire Program for over 67 years. During that time, Incident Meteorologists, (IMET's) have delivered predictive services that have allowed Incident Managers to fight fires aggressively while maintaining a high level of safety. After the South Canyon Fire in 1994, OSHA citations resulted in federal Wildland agencies requiring an IMET assignment for each Type I and Type II team where a Fire Behavior Analyst (FBAN) was assigned. Following a series of budget cuts to the NWS Fire Weather program since 1981, Congress directed the NWS to eliminate non-federal/non-wildfire services in 1996. Now, NOAA must meet Congressional requirements to reduce the size of government. To meet these mandates, the NWS is rapidly becoming a Data and Warning Center and already has eliminated most 'dedicated fire weather meteorologists' positions. All this is happening as the scope of the Incident Command Team broadens. After the tragedy of 9-11, Federal Incident Command Teams are being called to work more varied 'all risk incidents' that requires IMETs role to expand. All the while, numbers of qualified IMET's are decreasing. Who can fill this increasing void? NorthTree Fire International, a private company with experience in public/private partnerships and one of the largest wildfire contractors to the Federal Government, has initiated the first All-Risk Incident Meteorology Program within the Private Sector. The Northtree Fire program will use only highly qualified and experienced IMET's combined with state of the art technology that most government agencies cannot afford. The Northtree Fire Weather program includes a training and predictive services component. While augmenting the federal government's capabilities in these areas, it is Northtree Fire International's goal to set the standard for All-Risk Incident Meteorology program.

Online Link(s):
Querciagrossa-Sand, M. A., J. Stutler, S. Goldwater, and G. Bennett. 2003. Future of all-risk incident meteorology, Second International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress and Fifth Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology, 16-20 November 2003, Orlando, FL [program volume and electronic resource]. American Meteorological Society,Boston, MA. p. 142,