Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Getting Started Sampling Fuel Moisture

For purposes of establishing trends in moisture content, the principles applied in sampling and monitoring fuel moisture are similar to those used in fire weather observations. We take fire weather observations at stations selected as being typical in weather characteristics of the geographical area of interest. Because of the geographical variability of local weather, observations at the station at any given time are not likely to correspond precisely to weather conditions at other points within the area. Therefore, a weather observation at the station is actually only a sample of the weather for the larger geographical area.

To begin observations of fuel moisture, select an area of a few acres that is representative of a more extensive geographical area. Collect samples of fuel from this small area for moisture determination. This fuel moisture sampling area serves the same function in fuel moisture monitoring as the weather station in the monitoring of fire weather. Like the fire weather sample, the fuel moisture sample will only approximate the fuel moisture conditions over the larger geographical area because of the spatial variations in factors influencing fuel moisture.

There are 4 major factors affecting the comparison of fire weather observations and indices. These include:

1. Standardization of weather instruments
2. The exposure of these instruments to variable weather conditions
3. Observation procedures
4. Specific time that observations are made

Time and space comparability of fuel moisture observation are acheived by:

1. Standardization of fuel sample collection
2. Moisture determination procedures
3. Specification of sampling conditions

Please call us today to find moisture analysis instrumentation to help you test during this process.

800.528.7411 • 602.470.1414

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