Wildfires were favored by the dry weather conditions in several states of the United States.
Two large Arizona wildfires lit several hundred hectares of land. A wildfire, caused by lightning, burnt approximately more than 4,000 hectare between the Arizona-Utah state line and the Grand Canyon National Park. Strong wind and low air humidity favored the fire grew. In addition low visibility made the fire fighting more difficult. Another lightning wildfire, 80 miles west of Phönix, had burned 6,000 ha. Lightning also lit several small wildfires in the eastern part of Arizona which were under control, though.
In Florida a fire burned 16,000 ha marshland. This fire also crossed the state line to Georgia. About 400 firefighters on the ground, and helicopter and air tanker were put into action to fight the the flames with water.
Forestry official and firefighters contained a wildfire which had burned more than 5,000 hectare of a fragile desert habitat in California.
The INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SITUATION REPORT (http://www.nifc.gov/news/sitreprt.html) from 31 May 1999 can be quoted as follows:
Increased initial attack activity was reported in California. Large fire activity continued in the Southern, Southern California, Great Basin and Southwest Areas. New large fire activity was reported in the Eastern Area. Mobilization of resources through the National Interagency Coordination Center included showers, caterers, engines, airtankers, helicopters, radio equipment, crews and miscellaneous overhead. Very high and extreme fire indices were reported in Arizona and Texas.
SOUTHERN AREA LARGE FIRES:
FRIENDLY, Osceola National Forest. A Type I Incident Management Team (Melton) is assigned. Efforts in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge continue to concentrate on maintaining or enhancing fire breaks on the swamp’s edge to keep the fire within the swamp. Contingency plans for structural protection are being developed for Deep Creek, FL and Council, GA.
WESTERN GREAT BASIN LARGE FIRES:
BLUE GARDEN, Ely Field Office. A Type II Incident Management Team (Vorce) has been ordered. This fire is burning on the edge of a Wilderness Study Area near Caliente, NV. Unstable fire behavior, low relative humidity and high winds caused the fire to be very active and continue to make significant acreage gains.
RAINBOW RANCH, Ely Field Office. This fire is burning in upland desert shrubs, cheatgrass and pinyon juniper near Caliente, NV. Access is very limited. Current threats are to wildlife habitat and range forage.
BURNS, Winnemucca Field Office. This fire is burning in grass and sage near Imlay, NV. High winds hampered suppression efforts yesterday afternoon. Full containment was expected last night.
EASTERN GREAT BASIN LARGE FIRES:
JUMP COMPLEX, Arizona Strip Field Office. A Type II Incident Management Team (Suwyn) is assigned. This fire is 30 miles south southwest of St. George, UT. The fire made several runs yesterday, crossing Imlay Road to the west late in the afternoon. Crews began burning out along the south and west flanks with some air support.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LARGE FIRES:
JUNIPER COMPLEX, Joshua Tree National Park. A Type II Incident Management Team (Conrad) is assigned. This complex is two miles east of Desert Hot Springs and consists of four fires. Good progress was made due to slightly cooler temperatures and less windy conditions. Demobilization has begun with the release of crews and miscellaneous equipment.
SOUTHWEST LARGE FIRES:
HARCUVAR, Yuma – Havasu Field Office, BLM. A Type II Incident Management Team (Joki) is assigned. This fire is near Wenden, AZ. Firefighters made significant progress on the fire yesterday. Efforts were concentrated on protecting an electronic site. Other threats include the desert tortoise, Sonoran desert habitat and cultural and historic sites.
EASTERN AREA LARGE FIRES:
LITTLE TROUT, Superior National Forest. This fire is 20 miles northwest of Grand Marais, MN in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Threats are to wilderness visitors and adjacent timberlands. Control problems are strong winds, poor access, rough terrain and heavy fuel loading from bug killed timber.
NORTHWEST LARGE FIRES:
ROCK CREEK, Washington State DNR. This fire is ten miles northwest of Stevenson, WA. No new information was received. This will be the last report unless new information is received.
OUTLOOK: Arizona will be mostly sunny to partly cloudy with a breezy afternoon. Winds will be south to southwest at 10-20 MPH increasing to 15-25 MPH in the afternoon with gusts to 30 MPH. High temperatures will be in the 60’s in the mountains and 90’s along the Colorado River and deserts. New Mexico will be mostly sunny except partly cloudy with isolated scattered afternoon thunderstorms in the northern mountains. Winds will be west at 15-25 MPH. High temperatures will be in the 70’s to 85 in the mountains and northwest, with upper 80’s to 90’s elsewhere. West Texas will be mostly sunny in the west and partly cloudy in the Big Bend area and east. Winds will be south to southwest at 10-20 MPH. High temperatures will be in the 90’s to 100, and up to 110 along the Rio Grande. Nevada will be mostly sunny. Minimum relative humidities will be 10-20%. Winds will be northwest at 5-15 MPH in the north, and southwest at 10-20 MPH in the south. High temperatures will be 55 to 65 in the northern mountains, 70 to 80 in the lower elevations of the north and 85 to 100 in the south. California will be mostly sunny, except for isolated afternoon thunderstorms over the Sierra’. Winds will be variable at 5-15 MPH. High temperatures will be in the 50’s to 60’s in the mountains and 80’s and 90’s in the inland valleys and deserts. Florida will be partly cloudy with isolated afternoon thunderstorms. Winds will be easterly at 10-15 MPH. High temperatures will be in the mid 80’s to 90. Minnesota will be partly cloudy in the northwest and mostly cloudy elsewhere. There will be scattered showers and thundershowers in the east and southwest decreasing in the afternoon. Winds in the northern zones will be northwest to north at 10-20 MPH and the southern zones will be south to southwest at 10-20 MPH becoming northwest to north at 10-20 MPH by afternoon. High temperatures will be in the 60’s in the north to 70’s in the south.