National Wildfire Coordinating Group

RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)

Fire Danger Rating: More Than Just A Number

RT-130 Decorative banner. Group of photos depicting wildland firefighters performing various duties.

Fire danger rating systems utilize a complex mixture of science, technology, and local observations to generate outputs which support wildland fire suppression decisions. These outputs are used by various functions to increase situational awareness and to support decision-making at all levels of the fire management organization.
Category: Fire-Environment
Core Component(s): Local Topics;
Fire and Aviation Operational Safety

Estimated Delivery Time: 20 minutes; Video Length: 9:17



Introduce the fire danger rating concept. Describe the uses of the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS). Demonstrate the relationship between NFDRS outputs and firefighter safety through examination of PocketCards.

Facilitator Preparation

  • Review the video and module tools.
  • Print or display a PocketCard.
  • Print or display the Six Minutes for Safety document linked below.
  • Display the Wildland Fire Assessment System, and familiarize yourself with the web-based fire danger forecast products it provides.

Facilitating the Discussion

  • Show the video.
  • Facilitate a small or large group discussion using the discussion questions.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is a fire danger rating system? Why is it necessary?
  2. What is the National Fire Danger Rating System? What are the four outputs of the NFDRS?
  3. How are the outputs of the NFDRS related to firefighter safety?
    • (Hint: The numbers relate to conditions of the fire environment.)
  4. Why is only knowing the number not enough? What will you use to interpret these outputs?
  5. Where can you find a PocketCard for your area?


Additional Video Information

This video is also available as a download. (Size 1.1 GB)
Download the .srt file for closed captioning (you may need to right click and Save As). For information on how to add closed captioning to a video, see this how to page.

Note: For Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, right click the word download and select Save Link As; For IE, right click and select Save Target As.


Print This WFSTAR Module




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