First the formality, you need to remember that this is a private weather station. We do our best to keep it accurate, however, remember it is a hobby.

Never base important decisions on this or any weather information from the Internet or this website.
Fire Weather Index is: 0.1, which is No Rating, low Fire Danger


Bush fires happen in Australia, and when they come, they find most people unprepared. As a result, experts tend to offer fire warnings before they happen. However, knowing the conditions that can facilitate bushfire incidents can be the best way to prevent the danger. So, the question is, will a Fire Danger Index Calculator & BOM provide you with relevant and essential fire Weather info?

The problem is that only a few people know what to look out for in assessing the possibility of a bushfire. It is a good idea to talk to your area’s locals and long-term residents. Talk to your Local Fire Brigade.

I have been involved in some of the more significant fires here in Australia as part of the NSW Rural Fire Service. I was a team leader of a specialised team that dealt with remote and inaccessible fires, nasty accidents, and of course, village fires. Yearly we, as volunteers, would be called out to over 200 incidents per year.

Needless to say that when the Fire Weather Index goes extreme, smoke trickles through the valley, and my brain goes into overdrive, and so does my heart rate. After seeing the devastation in Victoria, Canberra (Duffy, Dingo Dell, etc), and Sydney Blue Mountains (where I was based), fire is something I am “scared” of. It keeps me up at night.

Information used

Formulas for Fire Weather Index Components

The Fire Weather Index (FWI) system involves multiple equations to calculate its various components. Below are some simplified formulas for the key components.

Fine Fuel Moisture Code (FFMC)

The FFMC is calculated using the formula:

FFMC_{new} = FFMC_{old} + \Delta FFMC \times (1 – e^{-\frac{1}{k}})

Duff Moisture Code (DMC)

The DMC is calculated using the formula:

DMC_{new} = DMC_{old} + \Delta DMC \times (1 – e^{-\frac{1}{k}})

Drought Code (DC)

The DC is calculated using the formula:

DC_{new} = DC_{old} + \Delta DC \times (1 – e^{-\frac{1}{k}})

Initial Spread Index (ISI)

The ISI is calculated using the formula:

ISI = \beta \times FFMC

Buildup Index (BUI)

The BUI is calculated using the formula:

BUI = \alpha \times DMC + (1 – \alpha) \times DC

Fire Weather Index (FWI)

The FWI is calculated using the formula:

FWI = ISI \times \sqrt{BUI}

Note: These formulas are simplified and may not capture all the nuances of the actual FWI. We used to go out with a little square, humidity meter and do the manual calculations in the field. Now a lot is just generalised.

Fire Weather Index updates

We calculate the Dayboro Fire Weather Index around noon. This is an automated process using the station’s weather data. We are trying to get some of the QLD fuel loadings online.

You should only use ours as a high-level indication. The Fire Weather Index signs on either side of Dayboro are the actual indicators. These are updated by the local fire brigade.

Dayboro Fire Weather Index classifications.
  • 0 – 11 No Rating: a fire that can be easily controlled and poses little or no risk to life or property.
  • 12 – 23 Moderate: a fire that can be controlled, where the loss of life is unlikely, and property damage will be limited.
  • 24 – 49 High: a fire that can be difficult to control, with flames that may burn into the treetops. During a fire of this type, some homes and businesses may be damaged or destroyed.
  • 50 – 99 Extreme: a fire that may be uncontrollable and move quickly, with flames that may be higher than rooftops. A severe fire may cause injuries, and some homes or businesses may be destroyed.
  • 75 – 99 Extreme: a fire that may be uncontrollable, unpredictable, and fast-moving. The flames will be higher than on rooftops. During an extreme fire, people may be injured, and homes and businesses may be destroyed.
  • 100+ Catastrophic: a fire that may be uncontrollable, unpredictable, and fast-moving. The flames will be higher than on rooftops. Many people may be injured, and many homes and businesses may be destroyed.

Frequent asked questions

The BOM publishes the Fire Danger Ratings, and they have recently (Sept 2022) changed their indicators.

Queensland Fire Danger Ratings

CALL 000

If it is an emergency, call 000, and get to a safe location. What we did, back in the day, as we had emergency cheat sheets in the house and the meter box. They would contain: 

  • Property Location Address, LOT, and permanent markers/indicators that can help locate the property. (see getting ready question for more details)

Call your local firewarden.

Getting prepared for nature is important, we live in an area where we can have floods, cyclones and fires. Here are some handy tips on how to get started. 

Emergency Cheat Sheet

This is a form/sheet that has all the important information on it. Distribute it throughout the house, like in the garage, meter box, and front and back doors. Don’t be “arrogant” by thinking you know it when you need to. Very smart and strong people forget their names in stressful situations. Typical information like: 

  • Property details, address, LOT number, nearest road marker, nearest cross street, and recognizable fixtures.
  • Water points, like access to a dam or creek. Pumps, water tank, or swimming pool. 
  • Fuel and dangerous materials storage (chemicals, fertilizer, paint etc)
  • How many people and animals reside on the property? 
  • Contact details of everybody and nearest neighbors.

You get the idea. 

This is just a small section of what is available, and there be more online.

With all these things, do NOT confuse your capabilities with your ambitions. There is generally no “do-over”. 

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