Forest Fires in the United States: 1 October 1999

Forest Fires in the United States

1 October 1999

The National Interagency Fire Center reported on 30 September 1999 that nearly 20,300 additional hectares burned in California on new and existing fires throughout the state. Persistent dry and hot conditions are causing extreme fire activity, and weather is expected to remain the same over the next few days. Large fires in California and Oregon are currently threatening structures, and two historical structures were destroyed by a fire near Warm Springs, Oregon yesterday.

Fire Weather Outlook
Dry, sunny conditions are predicted over most of the country today, with isolated showers expected along the northwest Canadian border and along the East Coast.
The Pacific Northwest is expected to receive gusty winds between 15 and 20 mph, with lighter winds along the Coast.
Most of California is expected to receive lighter winds today, but hot and dry conditions will prevail. For example, Los Angeles reported 108 degree temperatures yesterday, and is expected to be the same today. Strong winds will continue in southern California, where tempertures are the highest.

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Fig. 1. Large Wildland Fires in the United States, 30 September 1999
(National Interagency Fire Center)

For more information please refer to the website of National Interagency Fire Center.

The BLM – Alaska Fire Service   Initial Attack Management System (IAMS) is suite of computer applications developed by BLM/Fire to aid dispatchers and fire managers. IAMS Maps is one of these applications and provides graphical representation of various kinds of geographic data. Maps has been modified to produce output to a Web site to allow internet access to the data that IAMS stores. Dynamic data such as lightning (available May – September), fires, etc. are updated at the homepage of the BLM – Alaska Fire Service  (select Maps / AFS IAMS Maps Viewer) every 15 minutes during the fire season.

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Fig.2. IAMS image of active fires in Alaska, 30 September 1999
(Source: BLM – Alaska Fire Service )

Several active fire signals are recorded by OSEI with the NOAA-14 POES AVHRR HRPT satellite on 30 September 1999 in California.

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Fig. 3.-5. The images show heat signatures and dense smoke associated with fire areas in California and Oregon burning on the afternoon of September 30. The California fires are in much the same place as on the 29th – northeast of Eureka, southeast of Redding and southeast of Monterey. The smoke associated with these fires has expanded in coverage and density and has moved well offshore over the Pacific Ocean and eastward over portions of Nevada. The images in the center and on the right show a closer look at the dense smoke and heat signatures from the northern California fires and the fires southeast of Monterey.
(Source: NOAA

According the INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SITUATION REPORT the current situation for 30 September 1999 can be quoted as follows:

Moderate initial attack activity and new large fires were reported in the Northern California, Northwest and Southern Areas. Minimal initial attack activity occurred elsewhere. The National Interagency Coordination Center mobilized air tankers, helicopters, infrared aircraft, a lead plane, crews, radio equipment, engines, caterers, showers, meteorological equipment, and miscellaneous overhead. Very high to extreme fire indices were reported in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, and Arizona.

High pressure centered over Colorado and a thermal low pressure system over interior California and Oregon will continue to produce light to moderate east winds in most areas west of the Rocky Mountains. Temperatures will be warmer, with highs in the 70’s in the Cascade and Sierra Nevada ranges, and highs from 80 to 95 degrees in interior California and southern Nevada.
There is a slight chance of afternoon showers along the Canadian border. Northeastern Idaho and Wyoming will be partly cloudy. Elsewhere in the west, the forecast is for mostly sunny skies. Relative humidity will be slightly higher, in the 10 to 25 percent range in most parts of the western United States.
The Gulf states will be sunny and drier, with northern Mississippi becoming much drier. High temperatures will be in the 70’s in the northern part of the Gulf states and in the lower 80’s near the coast. Minimum relative humidity will range from 30 to 50 percent throughout the Gulf states.
… .”

Following basic fire data describe the fire situation in the United States:

Number of FIRES in the last 24 hours HECTARES burning in the last 24 hours FIRES
YEAR-TO-DATE 116 21,167 76,310 1,975,949

For detailed information regarding specified regions, please refer to the whole report.

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