Forest Fires in the United States: 20 December 1999

Forest Fires in the United States

20 December 1999

The Wildland Fire Assessment System is a contribution of “The Fire Behavior Research Work Unit”, Missoula (Montana USA) and submits a fire danger map, where the fire danger for the United States is forecasted.

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Fig. 1. Fire Danger Forecast Map for 20 December 1999
(Source: Fire Behavior Research Work Unit, Missoula)

According to the INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SITUATION REPORT, as of 17 December 1999, the fire situation in the United States can be summarized by following basic fire data.

YEAR-TO-DATE 93,204 2,288,291

Fire activity was minimal across the United States. Large fire activity was reported in the Northern Rockies and Southern Areas. Very high to extreme fire indices were reported in California.

High pressure will produce dry weather and above seasonal temperatures across southern California through next Thursday. Locally gusty northeast winds are possible through the passes and canyons. High temperatures will range from the 50’s in the mountains, to the 60’s and 70’s across the lower elevations.
Southern central Montana will be partly cloudy will west to southwest winds 20 to 35 MPH. High temperatures will be in the 40’s and low 50’s.
Arizona will be dry through next Thursday. An upper level trough will produce cooler temperatures and gusty northwest winds Sunday and Monday. High pressure will rebuild Tuesday through Thursday. High temperatures will range from the 40’s and 50’s in the mountains, to the 70’s in the southern deserts.
An upper level trough will produce a few light snow showers over northern New Mexico Friday through Sunday. Otherwise dry conditions are forecast across the state through next Thursday. Windy conditions will prevail on Sunday and Monday. High temperatures will range from the 30’s and 40’s in the mountains, to the 50’s and 60’s across the lower elevations.

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

The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) reports its Wildland Fire Update every Friday unless significant activity occurs.

A Four-Year Wildland Fire Comparison Statistic shows the number and the area of wildland fires from 1996 to 1999.

Tab. 1. Wildland Fire Comparison Statistic of the last four years (Source: NIFC)

As of 17 Dec. 1999 Number of Wildland Fires Number of hectares 1999 93,204 2,288,291 1998 75,913 922,101 1997 64,943 1,148,671 1996 94,407 2,431,614

The preliminary summary report of the National Interagency Fire Center provides also a map of the Top Ten Largest Fires in the current fire season 1999. This summary will be further updated with a final 1999 season report by the end of this year.

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