Forest Fires in the United States: 25 August 1999

Forest Fires in the United States

25 August 1999

The National Interagency Fire Center reported on 24 August 1999 24 large fires burning in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Texas for a total area of  23,210 ha. The areas of fire are shown in the large fire map below. Regarding to the Wildland Fire Update of the above mentioned Center, California was hit hard yesterday with a storm system that produced dry lightning (the leading cause of wildland fires in the West) and ignited hundreds of large and small fires. There are currently ten new large fires burning in California, many of which are complexes consisting of numerous small fires. Firefighters are working hard to get a handle on the situation and dispatchers at the National Interagency Coordination Center at NIFC are calling on other geogrpahic areas to assist. This same system moved into eastern Oregon and southern Idaho sparking several new fires in those states as well. Fire managers are gearing up as this storm tracks northwest and is expected to move into northern Idaho and Montana today, where a fire weather watch is posted for low relative humidites and dry thunderstorms.

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Fig. 1. Large Wildland Fires in the United States, 24 August 1999
(National Interagency Fire Center)

For more information please refer to the website of National Interagency Fire Center.

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.2. IAMS image of active fires in Alaska, 24 August 1999
(Source: BLM – Alaska Fire Service )

According the INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SITUATION REPORT the current situation for 24 August 1999 can be quoted as follows:
Heavy initial attack activity was reported in the Northern California Area, with moderate initial attack activity being reported in the Northwest, Great Basin , California and the Southwest Areas. Minimal initial attack activity was reported elsewhere. New large fires were reported for the Northwest, Northern California and Great Basin Areas. The National Interagency Coordination Center mobilized airtankers, helicopters, lead planes, infrared aircraft, radio equipment, caterers, showers, engines and miscellaneous overhead. Very high to extreme fire indices were reported in Oregon, Washington, California, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, South Dakota, Wyoming, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas.
A fire weather watch is posted for northern Idaho, western Montana and south-central  Montana including Yellowstone Park Area for low relative humidity and dry thunderstorms.
A slight decrease in the amount of monsoon moisture circulating around the upper level high pressure ridge will bring a decrease in cloudiness along with fewer wet thunderstorms for the Four Corners states. In the west there will be isolated dry thunderstorms across Nevada to eastern California, mainly in the mountains. A weather disturbance crossing the northwestern states will bring scattered thunderstorms, some dry to the northern half of Idaho and the western half of Montana. Isolated thunderstorms will occur in eastern Washington, Oregon, southern Idaho, eastern Montana and Wyoming. Winds will be light, except near thunderstorms.

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 722 16,507 68,267 1,614,921

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

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