Forest Fires in the United States: 30 August 1999

Forest Fires in the United States

30 August 1999

The National Interagency Fire Center reported on 29 August 1999 that there are 23 large fires in California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Texas for a total of 100,000 ha. The areas of fire are shown in the large fire map below. Nearly 12,000 firefighters, supported by 797 engines, 127 helicopters, 21 airtankers, and 2,616 support personnel are battling blazes throughout the West. In California, Nevada, Utah, and Washington new large fires were reported. Six military C-130 aircraft, converted to airtankers by the Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems (MAFFS), are assisting suppression efforts in northern California.

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Fig. 1. Large Wildland Fires in the United States, 29 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, 29 August 1999
(Source: BLM – Alaska Fire Service )

According the INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SITUATION REPORT the current situation for 30 August 1999 can be quoted as follows:

Initial attack activity was moderate in most areas. New large fire activity was reported in the Southern California, Eastern Great Basin, Northern Rockies and Southern Areas. Large fire activity continued in the Northern California, Southern California, Eastern Great Basin, Western Great Basin, Northwest, and Southern Areas. Competition exists for airtankers, leadplanes, type I and II helicopters and type I crews. The National Interagency Coordination Center mobilized airtankers, helicopters, lead planes, infrared aircraft, telecommunications equipment, caterer, shower unit, crews, and miscellaneous overhead. Very high to extreme fire indices were reported in Oregon, Washington, California, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, South Dakota, Wyoming, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

A red flag warning is posted for inland northeastern California for strong southwest winds and low relative humidity.
A fire weather watch is posted for northern Idaho and western Montana for gusty winds.
A fire weather watch is posted for utah for strong and gusty southwest winds and isolated dry lightning
A fire weather watch is posted for most of Nevada for strong gusty southwest winds.

A deep upper level trough will move over the Pacific Northwest during the day. A surface low pressure center will form over northern Montana with a trailing cold front moving across the Great Basin and inland Northwest. The front will lay along the Idaho, Washington, Oregon border. Strong southwest winds will blow over the Great Basin and northern California ahead of the front, then shifting to the west. Numerous wet showers with a few wet thunderstorms and snow in the high Cascade Mountains will accompany the trough over Washington, Oregon, western Montana, northern and central Idaho. The front will trigger isolated showers and thunderstorms over California and Nevada. The main monsoonal moisture axis will bring numerous wet thunderstorms to Arizona, with scattered monsoonal thunderstorms over New Mexico and Colorado. On the fringes of the deeper monsoonal moisture, isolated thunderstorms are expected over Wyoming and eastern Idaho. Over Utah the monsoonal flow will interact with the front for isolated dry thunderstorms. Temperatures will be much cooler over the Northwest with high temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s. Temperatures will be in the 70’s and 80’s in the northern great basin, with 90’s to 103 in the southern Great Basin of Utah and Nevada.
… .”

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 233 31,906 69,449 1,699,013

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

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