Spot Burn Forecast Instructions

When you click on the "Submit a new Spot Request" link on the Spot Burn Forecast Page, you will be presented with a form in which to provide the information for the forecast.  Below are some tips for filling out the form:

1. Enter the latitude and longitude of the burn site. These coordinates are in decimal degrees, to the nearest hundredth of a degree.  If you do not know the latitude and longitude, one way to find an approximation is by using the interactive forecast map on the main page of our internet site. Click as close as you can to the fire location. When the forecast page appears, the lat/lon as well as elevation can be found near the upper left part of the page.

2. Required elements for the form are in red. If terrain is not an issue with your burn, you can enter "none" or "flat" for your aspect.  The ignition time is in local  time, but please use the 24 hour clock format, i.e. military time.  For a non wildfire event, you will need to select a reason for the spot burn forecast.

Important:  If you submit a spot burn request without filling out one or more of the required red elements, a page will display which says; "Your Spot Request Contains Some Major Errors:"  You will then see option tabs to "Go Back and Fix" or "Cancel Request."   Remember - only the red elements are required.  If you do not fill out some of the other non-required elements, then after submitting you will see a page displaying the messages;  "Your Spot Request Contains Some Significant Errors" and/or "Some Minor Problems With Your Spot Request That You May Want To Fix."  A bulleted list of problems is subsequently displayed.  However both of these messages are NOT fatal, as you will have the option to "submit request anyway" if or when you get these messages.  Only missed red elements are fatal.

After you submit the form, on the main spot request page you will see a little green box on the map marking a "pending" forecast.  After a few minutes, an alarm will sound at NWS Indianapolis on the forecaster workstations stating that a spot burn request has been submitted.  Depending on workload issues, we should have the spot burn forecast back to you within 20 to 40 minutes.  Please note that it is not out of the question that we may be experiencing network problems. Thus if you have not received a forecast in about 45 minutes, please call us and see if we did receive your request.  After our forecast is submitted back to you, you will see the green pending box turn to red on the main spot burn page, marking a completed forecast.  Just click on the red box or your burn name down in the table below the forecast map to see our forecast.  Lastly, you can use the calendar feature to look at old spot burn forecasts. You may also see the box turn purple. That indicates that the forecaster has a question for you. If you see the purple box, you can answer the question, or make other changes to your request from the webpage, but ONLY from the computer that made the original request.

Please keep in mind that "sensitive" information like your name, phone number, and the exact location of the burn are NOT visible to others - only to you and the NWS.

Note:  Information provided on this form may be used by the National Weather Service (NWS) for official purposes in any way, including public release and publication in NWS products. False statements on this form may be subject to prosecution under the False Statement Accountability Act of 1996 (18 U.S.C. § 1001) or other statutes


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