Trusted, Accurate, and Connected Weather Monitoring for Firefighters


Fighting Fires With Knowledge

As every firefighter and first responder knows, weather conditions are one of the most critical variables in fighting a fire, making a rescue, and saving lives. Wind speed and direction, temperature, and humidity are all measured frequently, tracked in detail, and entered into fire behavior models to inform decisions about deploying personnel, materials, and suppression tactics such as digging a fireline.
The Kestrel line now includes a full range of meters and loggers, including models with built-in Probability of Ignition (PIG) and Fine Dead Fuel Moisture (FDFM) readings. Wireless data transfer to smart phones and tablets using Kestrel LiNK™ makes communicating real-time conditions easier than ever. Heat stress prediction models help keep personnel safe from heat injury during training and operations.

Wildland Firefighting

Every successful fire management strategy starts with accurate on-site weather observations. Kestrel Fire Weather Meters measure all relevant weather variables needed by Fire Behavior Analysts (FBAN’s), meteorologists, and deployed firefighters to understand how a fire is evolving and how to keep the crew safe. The new PRO line of Kestrel Fire Weather Meters give you the ability to track conditions and view trends right on the unit, as well as send detailed data reports using the free Kestrel LiNK app. The PRO meters also have the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Probability of Ignition (PIG) and Fine Dead Fuel Moisture (FDFM) tables built right in, eliminating the complexity, time and errors involved in employing paper lookup tables. Unlike a traditional belt weather kit, a Kestrel Meter is ready to take all readings instantly, and the PRO meters log temperature, humidity and pressure even when off, giving instant visibility of trends.

Kestrel Fire Weather Meters are ready to take measurements instantly, with no setup or lookup tables required. PRO meters have the FDFM and PIG tables built right in, and log temperature, humidity and pressure even while off.

Sling Vs Kestrel: Lab Study Finds Kestrel More Accurate

Study Summary: Lab Testing Finds Kestrel Meter RH Measurement To Be More Accurate Than Traditional Sling Psychrometer

These data show it's really hard to get reliable repeatability with the sling. That means you can’t trust the sling for trend data. Our data show that even trained firefighters demonstrate tremendous variability both in technique and ultimately the end result. Even when we standardized the sling protocol, we still saw inaccuracies and inconsistencies as compared to the Kestrel [meters] and a calibrated RAWS.
-Brent Ruby, Ph.D.
Kestrel vs Sling Study
PhysioZing, The Montana Center for Work Physiology and Exercise Metabolism
University of Montana

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Prescribed Burns

When managing a burn site, knowing environmental conditions are within prescription is important for compliance and to ensure that a fire doesn't get out of control. A Kestrel Fire Weather Meter provides wind speed, wind gust, average wind, temperature and humidity readings for monitoring conditions while burning. But, gathering sufficient weather data to make a decision on when to burn can require many time-consuming site visits prior to the burn. The new Kestrel DROP D3FW Fire Data loggers can be left on site to record days of round-the-clock temperature and humidity readings which can then be viewed on a mobile device and shared via email with the free Kestrel LiNK app – providing instant insight into the time of day with most conducive conditions. Although you do need to return to site to collect the data, you don’t even need to retrieve your DROP each time – the full data log is transmitted wirelessly as soon as you are within connection range (100' line of sight or more).

A Kestrel DROP D3FW is a great extension of the Kestrel line. Just leave it in place to log temperature and humidity round-the-clock and gain insight into the best time to conduct prescribed burns. Like all Kestrel Fire Meters, a Kestrel DROP is fully sealed and very tough.

The Kestrel meter is much quicker to use for gathering immediate weather info then to use the old style sling method during firefighting activity in the Wildland setting. I've had my Kestrel meter for 5 years now and it’s still in good shape despite all the heat and water it's been exposed to on the job.
-Doug Schucker
Wildland Firefighter

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Urban Fire Fighting

Safety demands accurate situational wind speed measurements BEFORE deploying ladders and aerial equipment, and a Kestrel in the glove box is just the answer. Where a wildland fire has the potential to threaten an urban interface, a Kestrel Meter can assist in assessing the fire weather and predicting fire behavior.

The readings are consistent with my check devices. I like the fuel moisture tables. They are easy to use and the tool is durable and weather proof. It fits in just about any size pocket or can be tied to a vest or shoulder harness for convenient access.
-Michael W., Wildland

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Heat Stress Safety: Training & Operations

Wildland firefighters train to withstand the challenge of heavy exertion in extreme conditions. Extreme heat is a constant companion, and protective gear exacerbates the physical strain on a firefighter's body. Building heat acclimatization is a critical component of training, but doing so without incurring heat illness or injury is equally critical and challenging. Heat injury is a constant danger with many incidents of heat related illness occurring every year. Heat illness prevention programs recommend measuring Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) and implementing ACGIH work/recovery and hydration guidelines. WBGT is a much more complete measure of heat stress for the firefighter because it includes the radiant heat of the sun, fire, or hot surfaces in the model. The Kestrel Fire Weather Meter PRO with WBGT adds the WBGT measurement to the full capability of the Fire Weather Meter Pro – making it the complete tool for monitoring WBGT and fire weather during training or operations. With pre-programmed ACGIH guidelines and alert settings to indicate when conditions have become extremely unsafe, the Kestrel Fire Weather Meter PRO with WBGT is the ultimate tool for increasing the safety of your crew.

By adding waterless WBGT readings to the full capabilities of the Kestrel Fire Weather Meter PRO, Kestrel has created the ultimate tool for protecting lives, houses, and property while ensuring safety for everyone involved.

Sharing better and quicker weather data and interpretation can increase our time to respond — an argument for the value of the Kestrel 5500FW in our arsenal of weather tracking tools that supports a safer fireground.
-Alex Spannuth
Kestrel 5500 Fire Pro – A Key Update for the Classic Weather Meter
WildFire Magazine

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HAZMAT & NBC Response

First responders can gather the weather data they need within seconds of arriving at the scene with no tedious setup. A Kestrel 5500FW with LiNK wireless communication and Portable Vane Mount make up a complete Hazmat weather kit capable of measuring all parameters required for CAMEOALOHA and PEAC plume modeling. Equip every department vehicle with a Kestrel response kit to enable all personnel to measure and record life-saving data whenever and wherever they deploy.

Firefighters have come to depend on Kestrel meters for critical information on current weather conditions. Correct and current knowledge of weather conditions plays a key role in keeping firefighters safe, and properly fighting and extinguishing fires.
-Timothy Tonge
Wildland Firefighter and First Responder

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Compare Products

Data Kestrel DROP D3FW Fire Weather Monitor
DROP D3FW Data Logger
Kestrel 3500FW Fire Weather Meter
3500FW Weather Meter
Kestrel 5500FW Fire Weather Meter Pro
5500FW Weather Meter
Kestrel 5400FW Fire Weather Meter Pro WBGT with LiNK Compass & Vane Mount
5400FW Weather Meter
Relative Humidity
Wet Bulb Temp
Station Pressure (Absolute Pressure)  
Heat Stress Index
Dew Point Temperature
Wind Speed/Air Speed  
Barometric Pressure  
Wind Chill  
Wind Direction    
Probability of Ignition (PIG)    
Fine Dead Fuel Moisture (FDFM)    
Density Altitude    
Headwind / Tailwind    
Wet Bulb Globe Temp (WBGT)      
Globe Temp      
Naturally Aspirated Wet Bulb Temp      
Thermal Work Limit      
Link Wireless Data   *

= Standard
* = Optional