GFMC: Forest Fires in the United States

Forest Fires in the United States

10 July 2002

Wildland Fire Update
The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) based in Boise (Idaho) provides key information on current wildland fire situations, related information and background materials. The following information is updated daily and can be accessed directly:

  • State-by-State daily and year-to-date summary of fire activities
  • Year-to-date State-by-State total number of wildland fires and area burned (table)
  • Daily locations of large fires (map)

The National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC)  provides daily situation reports. These reports include:

  • Incident Management Situation Reports (fires and area burned reported to NICC). The files include current, previous and archived reports
  • Prescribed Fire and Wildland Fire Use (year-to-date fires and area burned reported to NICC, posted weekly on Monday mornings)

Archived NICC Incident Management Reports (recent daily reports and archived daily reports 1994-1997) are provided by the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI)

Fire Weather & Fire Danger Information
The Wildland Fire Assessment System (WFAS) is a contribution of “The Fire Behavior Research Work Unit”, Missoula (Montana USA). The broad area component of the Wildland Fire Assessment System (WFAS) generates maps of selected fire weather and fire danger components.

Fire Danger (Potential) is a normalized adjective rating class across different fuel models and station locations. It is based on information provided by local station managers about the primary fuel model, fire danger index selected to reflect staffing level, and climatological class breakpoints. Low danger (Class 1) is green and extreme potential (Class 5) is red.

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Fire danger maps for the United States for 09July 2002 (observation time) and 10 July 2002 (forecast)
(Source: WAFS)

Dead fuel moisture responds solely to ambient environmental conditions and is critical in determining fire potential. Dead fuel moistures are classed by timelag.

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10-HR Fuel Moisture

100-HR Fuel Moisture

1000-HR Fuel Moisture

Fuel moisture maps for conterminous US, 09July 2002
(Source: WAFS)

The Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) is a soil/duffdrought index. Factors in the index are maximum daily temperature, dailyprecipitation, antecedent precipitation, and annual precipitation. The indexranges from 0 (no drought) to 800 (extreme drought) (details).

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Keetch-Byram Drought Index Maps for conterminous US, 09 July 2002
(Source: WAFS)

Operational Significant Event Imagery (OSEI)
The following significant event was identified by Satellite Analysis Branch meteorologists and reviewed by the OSEI support team of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

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Heat signatures (red) and smoke (light blue haze) are visible from fires burning in Wyoming and Idaho. The Jack Knife Fire has burned 2,200 acres in Idaho and was 20% contained. The adjacent Web Fire has scorched 1,500 acres in Idaho and was 70% contained. The South Fork II Fire has scorched 13,990 acres and was 35% contained. The Broad Fire has charred 600 acres in Yellowstone National Park and was 0% contained. This information is from the National Interagency Fire Center Incident Management Situation Report from 07/09/2002. The green and blue dots visible in bottom right portion of the image are due satellite interference.
IMAGE D19002: NOAA-15 HRPT> Channels 3, 2, 1 <> 07/09/2002 01:32 UTC<>Multichannel color composite<>Wyoming and Idaho
(Source: OSEI/NOAA)

For more information on the fires in Quebec, Canada, causingsmoke-haze in parts of the US, please refer to the updated country report for Canada(10 July 2002) in the section Current & Archived Significant Global Fire Eventsand Fire Season Summaries.

The TOMSGlobal Aerosol Hot Spots Page provides screened close-ups of regionswith active fires and smoke emissions, displayed in the following table.

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23 June 2002 24 June 2002 25 June 2002

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26 June 2002 27 June 2002 28 June 2002

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29 June 2002 30 June 2002 01 July 2002

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02 July 2002 03 July 2002 04 July 2002

Smoke over the US.
(Source: TOMSGlobal Aerosol Hot Spots Page)

For more information on the recent fire situation in the US see: Recent Media Highlights on Fire, Policies, and Politics ,especially several articles referring to the situation in Arizona.

Long-range weather forecasts

National Weather Service
Long-range, 30-day weather forecasts are predicting above-normal temperatures for the southern tier of states from southern California to Florida and throughout the Midwest (see 30 and 90-day forecast maps).

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30 and 90-day temperature and precipitation forecast maps (June2002 and June to August 2002)
(Source: National Weather Service)

For further information see: Wildfire Season Forecast of the Florida Division of Forestry
For further information you may also see to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

For background information on the Southern Area see the Edited Version of the Southern Area Intelligence Briefing Paper for 22 April 2001.

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