Forest Fires in the United States: 7 July 1999

Forest Fires in the United States

7 July 1999

Several vegetation fires were detected by OSEI with the NOAA-15 AVHRR HRPT satellite on 3 and 4 July 1999.

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Fig.1. and 2. The left image shows heat signatures and smoke plumes from areas of fire burning in northern California, western Nevada, central Utah and along the Utah / Colorado border. The fires in northern California were originally controlled burns which quickly spread over 2000 acres. The right image shows the largest area of fire  in central Utah where nearly 60,000 acres burned in the mountainous region south of Salt Lake City.

Other vegetation fires were also detected by OSEI with the NOAA-14 AVHRR HRPT satellite on 6 July 1999.

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Fig.3. Heat signatures and smoke from areas of fire, some of them quite large, burning in eastern Alaska and western portions of the Yukon Territory.

The INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SITUATION REPORT from 4 July 1999 can be quoted as follows:
Good progress was made on large fires in the Great Basin and Rocky Mountain Areas. Moderate fire activity was reported in California, the
Western Great Basin and Alaska. The National Interagency Coordination Center mobilized infrared aircraft, radio equipment and miscellaneous
overhead. High to extreme fire indices were reported in Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Alaska, Wyoming, west Texas and Idaho.

A fire weather watch is posted in Central Utah for dry lightning and gusty thunderstorm winds.
An upper level high pressure system will be over Colorado and monsoonal moisture will bring wet thunderstorm activity to New Mexico, Arizona, southern Colorado and southern Utah. Widely scattered, dry thunderstorms are forecast from northwestern Arizona, central and northeastern Utah into northwest Colorado. A few thunderstorms may spill over into southern Wyoming and southern Nevada.
A thermal low pressure area will develop over Nevada, Utah and northern Arizona bringing near red flag conditions for gusty southwest winds to western Nevada. A strengthening westerly pressure gradient over the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades will generate windy conditions over the eastern slopes. Near red flag conditions will occur in northeastern California for gusty southwest winds. Wind speeds will be 15 to 25 MPH gusting to 35 MPH over western Nevada and northern California east of the Sierra crest.
The rest of the West will have mostly sunny skies. Temperatures will range from the 60’s and 70’s in the Northwest Pacific coast to the 80’s and 90’s over inland areas and 105 to 112 in the hottest southwestern deserts.

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

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