Wildfires in Florida: 26 April 1999

Wildfires in Florida

26 April 1999

The wildfire potential in Florida remains extreme.

This short description of the current situation in the DAILY FLORIDA WILDFIRE STATUS SYNOPSIS was prepared by  the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Forestry, Forest Protection Bureau, Florida. The synopsis describes the current situation and gives an outlook for the following days:
(the complete report, 25 April 1999, can be accessed under the webside: http://www.dca.state.fl.us/eoc/)

“Florida continues to suffer the consequences of a long running drought that has affected the entire state. A weak frontal system works slowly into the state and may bring some possible showers and T-storms in north and central areas.

The Southern Area Coordinating Center reports increased wildfire activity throughout the southeastern US.”

The Situation Report No. 23 of the Department of Community Affairs, Division of Emergency Management, Florida, gives also an current overview about the Florida Fires 1999. For 25 April 1999 the CURRENT SITUATION can be cited as follows:

“The Division of Emergency Management (DEM) is providing support to the Division of Forestry (DoF), local government, and disaster victims in response to wild fires impacting the State of Florida. The DEM is also monitoring drought conditions state-wide. DoF and the US Forest Service (USFS) have combined to form a Unified Command to fight the wildfires.

Total fire-fighters (includes DoF, county and volunteer) injured to date is 24, no fatalities have been reported to date. Structural damages reported remain as follows: dwellings destroyed (61); dwellings damaged (84); Total Dwellings damaged or destroyed (145).”

2,695 fires have burned 244,258 acres (98,740 ha) since the beginning of the year in Florida state.

An outlook to the weather conditions can be stated as:” The state will generally experience partly cloudy conditions through next few days.”
A frontal boundary will be sliding into the northern part of the state and the probabilities of precipitation might increase. Thunderstorms will occur, accompanied with lightning, which may cause some natural fire ignition.
Additional Weather Information are provided under:

OSEI provided the newest satallite images with the NOAA AVHRR Sensor on 23 April 1999.

click here to enlarge (KB)

Fig.1. NOAA images of vegetation fires in Southeastern United States on 23 April 1999
(Source: NOAA http://www.osei.noaa.gov/)

Fig.1. shows heat signatures (red spots) and smoke (blue haze) from areas of fire burning in southeastern Georgia and Florida. The pink areas on land are due to solar heating of the surface sensed by AVHRR channel 3.

(For a complete 1999 Wildland Fire Season Outlook please visit the NIFC homepage http://www.nifc.gov/news/nfn.html)

The Florida Forest Protection Bureau reports for 22 April 1999, 16 Fires. For a detailed report on the fire activities in Florida, refer to the last days Narrative Report on the Florida fire situation provided by the Florida Forest Protection Bureau.

The SOUTHERN AREA COORDINATION CENTER REPORT (20 April 1999) can be accessed at: http://state.vipnet.org/dof/firesitr.htm)

The content of the INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SITUATION REPORT, updated on 25 April 1999, can be summarized as follows:
(this report can be accessed under: http://www.nifc.gov/news/sitreprt.html)

Good progress continues on fires in the Southern Area. The National Interagency Coordination Center processed orders for a helicopter, equipment and miscellaneous overhead.

HICKORY ISLAND, Okefenokee NWR. This fire is burning near Folkston, GA. The fire continues to grow to the northeast in inaccessible terrain. The fire remains within the projected boundary. Rehabilitation efforts on the fireline are continuing.
APALACHICOLA COMPLEX, National Forests in Florida. A Type I team (Melton) is assigned. This complex includes the Owl Creek (2,624 acres) and Cow House (6,765 acres) fires. Higher humidities aided control efforts and helped facilitate burnout operations. Crews continued to strengthen secondary control lines to the east next to private property.
STONY CREEK, Cherokee National Forest. This fire is burning in blown down timber in rough, steep terrain 12 miles northeast of Elizabethton. Full containment was expected yesterday. No new information was received.

PANOCHE, Fresno Kings Ranger Unit, California Department of Forestry. High winds gusting at 50 MPH pushed this fire which is threatening a BLM Wilderness Area.

Florida will be mostly cloudy and cooler with scattered showers or thunderstorms to the north. Widely scattered showers and a few afternoon thunderstorms are expected in central and southwest Florida. Isolated morning showers are forecast for southeast Florida, while the remainder of the state can expect partly cloudy conditions. High temperatures will be in the mid 70’s to the lower 80’s north, near 90 in the interior central and southwest, and in the upper 80’s elsewhere.
North Carolina will be partly cloudy in the mountains and sunny elsewhere. Winds will be north to northeast at 10 to 25 MPH. Highs will be in the 60’s in the mountains and outer banks, and 65 to 75 elsewhere.
Kentucky and Tennessee will be partly cloudy with highs in the mid 60’s to mid 70’s. The winds in Tennessee will be northeast to southeast at 5 to 15 MPH.
Arizona will be partly cloudy with scattered morning showers over the higher terrain. Highs will be in the upper 40’s to 50’s in the mountains, and mid 60’s to the lower 80’s in the deserts.
New Mexico will have a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the north throughout the day, and in the east this morning. Partly cloudy conditions can be expected south. Winds will be southwest to west at 15 to 30 MPH with gusts to near 40 MPH. Highs will range from the 40’s and 50’s in the mountains and north to the mid 60’s to lower 80’s elsewhere.

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