Forest Fires in the United States: 10 August 1999

Forest Fires in the United States

10 August 1999

Firefighters contained the last of more than 100 fires that had burned 1.1 million acres (445,000 ha) of brush and grass in mostly uninhabited rangeland across northern Nevada as ASSOCIATED PRESS reported on Monday.Most of the fires had been started by lightning. 4,000 firefighters were fighting the fires and they won’t be released until Wednesday because of the weather conditions. The biggest fire in Nevada, which actually is a complex of 20 fires, had burned about 361,000 acres (146,000 ha). Some of the fires in that complex had been contained.

Wildfires have kept Idaho firefighters busy and lightning strikes continue to be a problem. Lightning caused fires were reported in the Boise National Forest. All were small in size, however larger range fires continued to burn.

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.1. IAMS image of active fires in Alaska, 9 August 1999
(Source: BLM – Alaska Fire Service )

Several active fire signals are recorded by OSEI with the NOAA-15 POES AVHRR HRPT on 9 August 1999 in Nevada.

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Fig.2. and 3. The left image shows heat signatures and very dense smoke plumes from large areas of fire burning in northern Nevada. Over 100 fires have burned over 1 million acres (400,000 ha) in Nevada. Most of the fires have been started by lightning. Another look at the heat signatures and smoke plumes from the fires in Nevada can be seen on the right image. This smoke is drifting northward into southern Idaho. Additional hot spots can be seen in Montana.
(Source: NOAA

According the INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SITUATION REPORT the current situation for 9 August 1999 can be quoted as follows:
Large fire activity continued in the Western Great Basin Area, while initial attack response was moderate. Several large incidents were contained yesterday, making resources available for reassignment. Initial attack activity continued in the Northern Rockies, Northwest, California and Eastern Great Basin Areas. Resource mobilization through the National Interagency Coordination Center was moderate. Very high to extreme indices were reported in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, North and South Dakota.

Oregon, Washington and Idaho will experience partly to mostly sunny skies with high temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s along the west coast. Temperatures east of the Cascades will be in 80’s. The Oregon Cascades, eastern mountains and the west coast will have a chance of afternoon thunderstorms. Idaho will be sunny with high temperatures in the 80’s to the lower 90’s in the southern valleys. Southeastern Oregon and southwest Idaho, relative humidities will range from 8 to 18 percent.
Northern California will be partly cloudy. The Sierra Nevada will have a chance of afternoon thunderstorms. Northwestern Nevada will experience dry thunderstorms while the remainder of the state will be mostly sunny. Utah will experience scattered thunderstorms in the mountains. Temperatures will range from the 60’s to the 70’s west of the northern California Cascades. Northern Great Basin temperatures will be in the 80’s to the 90’s. The southern deserts of Nevada and Utah will be near a 105. Relative humidities will be 10 to 20 percent in the southern deserts of Nevada and Utah. Southwest winds in eastern and southern Nevada will be 15 to 20 mph.

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 203 13,517 61,812 1,515,554

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

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