Forest Fires in the United States: 4 October 1999

Forest Fires in the United States

4 October 1999

The National Interagency Fire Center reported on 1 October 1999 that wildland fire activity continues to increase despite the onset of the fall season. Very high to extreme fire conditions were reported from Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Colorado. One fire was contained and three new large were fires reported from California where extreme activity has persisted for more than a month. Extreme fire conditions are expected to continue with strong winds and warm temperatures forecast throughout the weekend for most of the state. Current and expected weather conditions in Oregon and Washington are also contributing to the extreme fire conditions in those states. Strong winds, temperatures into the 90s in some areas, and low humidities may affect fire behavior on any new fires in the Northwest.

Fire Weather Outlook
Oregon and Washington are expecting high winds, hot temperatures and low humidities throughout the weekend. A cold front moving southeast through eastern Washington, Idaho and eastern Utah will bring partly cloudy, breezy and cooler temperatures. Colorado will also be affected by this cold front, and is expected to receive gusty winds up to 60 mph, along with scattered rain showers.

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Fig. 1. Large Wildland Fires in the United States, 1 October 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, 3 October 1999
(Source: BLM – Alaska Fire Service )

Several active fire signals are recorded by OSEI with the NOAA-14 POES AVHRR HRPT satellite on 1 October 1999 in California.

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Fig. 3. The image shows hot spots and dense smoke associated with fire areas in California and Oregon burning on the afternoon of October 1. The California fires are in much the same place as on September 30 – 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.
(Source: NOAA

According the INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SITUATION REPORT the current situation for 3 October 1999 can be quoted as follows:

Moderate initial attack activity was reported in California. Minimal initial attack activity occurred elsewhere. New large fire activity was reported in the Eastern Great Basin and Southern Areas. The National Interagency Coordination Center mobilized air tankers, helicopters, infrared aircraft, radio equipment, engines, crews, and miscellaneous overhead. Very high to extreme fire indices were reported in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Illinois, and Georgia.

A high pressure aloft will build over the western states with warmer temperatures and lower relative humidities. A weak surface pressure gradient across the west will limit the potential for strong winds. High temperatures in the valleys will be in the 60’s to lower 70’s east of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountains, with 70’s to lower 80’s elsewhere. The mountain high temperatures will be 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the valleys. Minimum relative humidities will be 10 to 30 percent, except 40 to 60 percent near the coast.
The Gulf states will have increasing clouds, with a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Mostly sunny condition will prevail inland. High temperatures will be in the 80’s to lower 90’s. Minimum relative humidities will be 30 to 50 percent inland and 60 to 70 percent near the coast.
… .”

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 61 6,204 76,925 2,012,913

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

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