Thirty-day forecasts of fire potential are needed, and can be computed using a variety of monthly fire weather indices. But which indices are most related to monthly fire severity? Correlation analysis was used to determine the relationships between mean monthly fire potential indices and monthly measures of ire severity at 16 National Weather Service (NWS) stations/National Forests combinations across the contiguous United States for the period 1970 to 1983. The fire potential indices used included standard weather variables, measures of drought, weather-driven fire indices, and precipitation frequency. Six measures of fire severity were used: fires, Class C+ fires (fires 10 acres or greater), acres burned, costs, fire days, and Class C+ fire days. The correlation analysis identified the mean monthly fire potential indices that best track measures of fire severity. Thirty-day fire potential forecasts can be made using the identified fire potential indices.
McCutchan, M.H.; Main, W.A. 1989. The relationship between mean monthly fire potential indices and monthly fire severity. In: Proceedings of the 10th conference on fire and forest meteorology; Ottawa, Ontario; Forestry Canada, Environment Canada. p. 430-435.