Forest Fire Task Force Prepares for Wildfire Season
The Flametamers Wildland Fire Crew is the Forest Fire Task Force in Lehigh County, Philadelphia. They are a 100% volunteer fire department team comprised of members and equipment from multiple departments in the county in coordination with the state bureau of forestry.
Because it is strictly volunteer, the firehouse is not staffed 24/7 and is on an as-needed basis.
The crew must have access to accurate and up-to-date weather data in the field during wildfires and before wildfire activity to stay ahead of weather conditions that are conducive to increased wildfire potential.
Our mobile command center is an enclosed trailer fully equipped with power and internet. We decided to mount an AcuRite 5-in-1 weather station on the trailer as our mobile weather station to be deployed on the scene. This piece of equipment will be a great addition to our wildfire efforts this upcoming fire season.
Meanwhile, the AcuRite Atlas™ weather station with lightning is directly affixed to our fire department in Germansville, PA. Since this unit communicates with My AcuRite through the Access unit, we can eventually get the data communicating to the public through Weather Underground.
Ways we are already incorporating the weather into our crew procedures.
It is in our protocol that the weather station is deployed each time our team is mobilized. Our team operates out of an enclosed trailer. Upon arrival at any training or incident, our priority is to get power to the trailer, deploy the weather station, and set up our command board.
A key component to any of our wildfire Warden’s reports is the weather conditions. We also report weather conditions hourly to our crew, typically using a belt weather kit or kestrel and contributing a third data point to our knowledge of the current environmental conditions.
During forest fires, the relative humidity values, wind speeds and direction and ultimately something we calculate (called the probability of ignition) are essential hourly observations we make.
Weather is THE key component in wildfire activity. Having the AcuRite weather station will provide us with onsite weather that can help us make critical decisions regarding wildfire activity. This will undoubtedly help protect our community and our firefighters.
Please visit our Facebook page for updated information on the Flamtamers Wildland Fire Crew.
May 6, 2020
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