Monitoring Fire Danger

Current Conditions:  


Open burning requires a permit from the Town Forest Fire Warden. unless there is snow surrounding the open burning site. However, many towns have local ordinances that require a permit year round. Always check with your town fire warden before burning.

Fire Danger Descriptions A standard adjective description for five levels of fire danger for use in public information releases and fire prevention signing was established In 1974 by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and state forestry organizations.. Source: Gaining an Understanding of the National Fire Danger Rating System.

Forest fire (wildfire) danger ratings are determined by comparing forest fuel conditions, recent weather conditions, and various fire start risk factors. During non-snow periods of the year, the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation monitors forest fire danger levels daily.

Essex Junction, Vermont RAWSFire danger in Vermont is calculated based on the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS). Input into the NFDRS model comes from weather observations from five remote automated weather stations (RAWS) located as follows (Note: Weather observations are listed in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), add 4 hours to current EDST (Eastern Daylight Savings Time to get GMT.):

ESS       FPR District Office, Essex Junction

ELM       Elmore State Park, Elmore

DAN       Sweezy, Green Mountain National Forest, Danby

WOOD   Woodford State Park, Woodford

NUL       Nulhegan, Silvio Conte National F&W Refuge, Brunswick

The Vermont Fire Danger Report is issued daily through spring fire season in Vermont, typically from the end of March when the snow melts to early to mid-May when the landscape begins to green up. The report is issued periodically through the summer and fall until snowfall ends fire season for the year.  Understanding the Vermont Fire Danger Report explains the meaning behind the number assignments.


In addition to the Vermont fire danger monitoring program, the National Weather Service also provides fire weather products including daily fire weather forecasts, spot forecasts for on-going fires, fire weather watches, and Red Flag warnings. Vermont is covered by two National Weather Service offices:

National Weather Service - Burlington, Vermont, which covers all of Vermont except Bennington and Windham Counties

National Weather Service - Albany, New York, which covers Bennington and Windham Counties



What is a Red Flag warning?  Follow this link for more information on how dry fuels and weather conditions combine to create erratic and hazardous fire behavior that can be dangerous to firefighters. This list provides links to find out when these warnings are issued and how to be notified.  The poster, "What Firefighters Need to Know About Red Flag Warnings" is a good reminder for firefighters. This print ready version is available for your use.  Post a copy in your fire station! 




Danielle Fitzko, Director
Division of Forests
1 National Life Drive, Davis 2
Montpelier, VT 05620
(802) 828-1531