GFMC: Forest Fires in the United States

Forest Fires in the United States

12 September 2001


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
    http://www.nifc.gov/fireinfo/nfn.html
  • Year-to-date State-by-State total number of wildland fires and area burned (table)
    http://www.nifc.gov/fireinfo/nfnmap.html
  • Daily locations of large fires (map)
    http://www.nifc.gov/fireinfo/firemap.html

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)
    http://www.nifc.gov/news/RXWFUYTD.htm

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.

click here to enlarge (25 - 35 KB) click here to enlarge (25 - 35 KB)

Fire danger maps for the United States for 9 September 2001 (observation time) and10 September 2001 (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.

click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)

click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)

click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)

10-HR Fuel Moisture

100-HR Fuel Moisture

1000-HR Fuel Moisture

Fuel moisture maps for conterminous US, 9 September 2001
(Source: WAFS)

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

click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)

Keetch-Byram Drought Index Maps for conterminous US, 9 September 2001
(Source: WAFS)

Near-real time satellite images
Operational Significant Event Imagery (OSEI)
The following significant events were identified by Satellite Analysis Branch meteorologists and reviewed by the OSEI support team of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

click to enlarge (508 KB)

NESDIS/OSEI NOAA-12 POES AVHRR LAC satellite image, 7 September 2001.

Heat signatures (red) and smoke (light blue haze) are visible from fires burning in California. The Star fire has burned 13,101 acres in Elorado National Forest and was 60% contained. The Poe fire has charred 1,200 acres north of Lake Oroville and was 10 percent contained. The Darby fire has scorched 1,850 acres north of New Melones Lakeand was 10 percent contained. Evacuations are in effect for subdivisions near the Darby fire.
This information is from the National Interagency Fire Center Wildland Fire Update on 9/7/2001.
(Source: OSEI/NOAA)

For more information on the recent fire situation see: Recent Media Highlights on Fire, Policies, and Politics .

The TOMS Global Aerosol Hot Spots Page provides screened close-ups of regions with active fires and smoke emissions, displayed in the following table.

click here to enlarge (58 KB) click here to enlarge (58 KB) click here to enlarge (58 KB)

4 September 6 September 2001 7 September

click here to enlarge (58 KB) click here to enlarge (58 KB) click here to enlarge (58 KB)

8 September 9 September 2001 10 September 2001

Smoke over the United States
(Source: TOMS Global Aerosol Hot Spots Page)

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).

click here to enlarge (72 KB)

30 and 90-day temperature and precipitation forecast maps (August and August to October 2001)
(Source: National Weather Service)

The Florida Division of Forestry gives the following long-range outlook summary of the recent Fire Weather & Fire Danger Information for Florida (updated June, 2001):
“Normal summer rainy pattern is developing across the state which will greatly reduce the wildfire threat. Current long-range forecasts offer little more than a guess that conditions will be near normal for the next several months. Several forecasts of Pacific ocean sea surface temperatures indicate a potential for a weak El Nino to develop for this winter, which would bring a wetter than normal winter.”

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.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien