CANADIAN FIRE WEATHER INDEX (CFWI)

The Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI) is a daily meteorological-based index used worldwide to estimate fire danger. FWI components depend on daily noon measurements of dry-bulb temperature, air relative humidity, 10m wind speed and 24 h accumulated precipitation. FWI consists of different components each measuring a different aspect of fire danger: fuel moisture contents of forest fuel with different drying rates, rate of spread, fuel weight consumed and fire intensity.

Although FWI has been developed for Canadian forests, its suitability has been proved for the Mediterranean. The evaluation of the FWI in relation to the forest fires in Greece signifies that as we move further south and further east, i.e. to hotter and drier conditions, higher values of FWI are needed to reach high fire risk conditions: FWI>15 for western and north-western, FWI>30 for central and FWI>45 for eastern and south-eastern areas.

These daily fire danger predictions have been produced in the framework of EU project CLIMRUN (www.climrun.eu) to support stakeholders active in fire prevention policies. More information on this project and its uses of climate information for areas where forest fires represent a major hazard are available from NOA (C. Giannakopoulos: cgiannak@noa.gr)