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Fire Danger Rating System (FDRS) for Southeast Asia


In 1997/98, extensive forest fire in one of the ASEAN country caused widespread haze in the SEA region. This significantly affected the tourism industries, the health of the population and the environment. The total loss was estimated to be US$9 billion. In response to this environmental disaster, the SEA Environment Ministers initiated a Regional Haze Action Plan. As part of this Action Plan, a monitoring and warning system for forest/vegetation fires need to be developed and implemented. Adopted from the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System, the SEA Fire Danger Rating System (FDRS) was subsequently developed and implemented.

Initially the SEA Fire Danger Rating was produced daily by the Canadian Forest Service (CFS). Starting from the middle of September 2003, this responsibility is handed over to the Malaysian Meteorological Service (MMS). Since then, MMS has been producing SEA Fire Danger Rating products on a daily basis.

Please click on the icon or text to view the South East Asian latest map for each individual index:








FDRS (Google Earth)


What Is FDRS ?

The FDRS is a system that monitors forest/vegetation fires risk and supplies information that assists in fire management. The products of FDRS can be used to predict fire behaviour and can be used as a guide to policy-makers in developing actions to protect life, property and the environment.

The meteorological variables used (Temperature, Relative Humidity, Rainfall, Wind Speed) are those measured at meteorological stations throughout the Southeast Asia region that are made available on the Global Telecommunication System (GTS). Spatial Analysis is carried out using the ArcView software.



a) Fine Fuel Moisture Code (FFMC)

The FFMC values shown on the map are numerical ratings of the moisture content of litter and other cured fine fuels. The FFMC indicates the relative ease of ignition and flammability of fine fuels. Thus, the FFMC is used as an indicator of ignition potential or the potential for fires to start and spread in the area. (Fine Fuels: Slash fuels, grassland, lalang, bushes etc).

For the interpretation of the map, please refer to the table below :-

Class-Ignition Potential Interpretation
Low Low probability of fire starts.
Medium Moderate probability of fire starts in areas of local dryness.
High Grass fuels becoming easily ignitable. Higher probability of fire starts.
Extreme Grass fuels highly flammable. Very high probability of fire starts.


b) DUFF Moisture Code (DMC)

The DMC values shown on the map are numerical ratings of the average moisture content of a loosely compacted surface organic layers (duff). The code indicates fuel consumption of surface organic layer with low bulk density and medium-sized woody material.

Please refer to the scale in the table below for interpretation of the DMC maps:

Class-Ignition Potential Interpretation
Low Top layers of organic soil are wet.
Medium Top layers of organic soil are moist.
High Top layers of organic soil becoming dry.
Extreme Top layers of organic soil are dry.


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