GFMC: Forest Fires in the United States
Forest Fires in the United States
2 November 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
- 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)
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.
Fire danger maps for the United States for 30October 2001 (observation time) and 31 October 2001 (forecast)
Dead fuel moisture responds solely to ambient environmental conditions and is critical in determining fire potential. Dead fuel moistures are classed by timelag.
10-HR Fuel Moisture
100-HR Fuel Moisture
1000-HR Fuel Moisture
Fuel moisture maps for conterminous US, 30 October 2001
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).
Keetch-Byram Drought Index Maps for conterminous US, 30 October 2001
For more information on the recent fire situation see: Recent Media Highlights on Fire, Policies, and Politics ,especially “Exceptional year” for devastating forest fires (28October 2001) and “Wildfire Charges” (30 October 2001).
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):
NESDIS/OSEI NOAA-12 POES AVHRR LAC satellite images, 31 October 2001.
Heat signatures (red) and smoke (light blue haze) are visible from fires burning in Colorado.
A wildfire scorched 1,180 acres and threatened about 50 houses west of
Berthoud, CO. A second blaze charred about 1,000 acres of grassland west of Wellington, CO
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).
30 and 90-day temperature and precipitation forecast maps (October and October to December 2001)
(Source: National Weather Service)
The Florida Division of Forestry gives the following long-range Wildfire Season Forecast September – March 2002 for Florida:
“A return to near normal conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean marks the end of the prolonged La Niña event that brought very active fire seasons to the state the past few years. Normal to slightly warmer sea surface temperatures in the Pacific will bring us our first normal winter in a while, and if sea surface temperatures continue to slowly warm we may get above normal rainfall this 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.