Forest Fires in the United States: 30 September 1999

Forest Fires in the United States

30 September 1999

The National Interagency Fire Center reported on 29 September 1999 that the fire conditions in California remain extreme as hot temperatures and low humidities persist. There were two new large fires reported, for a total of five fires and complexes burning throughout the state. Dispatchers at the National Interagency Fire Center are responding to requests for additional resources to assist with suppression efforts throughout California. New fire activity was also reported in Oregon, Texas and Arizona yesterday, but no significant problems are expected. Fire conditions in the southeastern states are improving as rain showers, cooler temperatures and increased humidities cover the area.

A red flag warning is posted for interior western Oregon, including the Cascade Range for gusty east or southeast winds and low humidity.
A fire weather watch is posted for the southern tip of Nevada and the lower Colorado River in Arizona for very low humidity and winds.

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

Several active fire signals are recorded by OSEI with the NOAA-14 POES AVHRR HRPT satellite on 28 and 29 September 1999 in California.

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Fig. 3.-5. The images show heat signatures and smoke plumes from large areas of fire burning in northern and western California on the afternoon of September 28. The northern areas are to the northeast of Eureka in the Salmon Mountains and to the southeast of Redding. The southern area is to the southeast of Monterey. Smaller fires are also burning between Redding and San Francisco. The images in the center and on the right side (view zoomed in) show views of the hot spots and smoke plumes associated with fire areas in California and Oregon burning on the afternoon of September 29. The California fires are in much the same place as on the 28th – northeast of Eureka, southeast of Redding and southeast of Monterey. The smoke associated with these fires has expanded in coverage and density and has moved well offshore over the Pacific Ocean.
(Source: NOAA

According the INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SITUATION REPORT the current situation for 29 September 1999 can be quoted as follows:

Increased initial attack activity and new large fires were reported in the Northern California, Northwest, and Southern Areas. The National Interagency Coordination Center mobilized engines, radio equipment, a caterer, a shower unit, air tankers, a lead plane, infrared aircraft, crews, and miscellaneous overhead. An Area Command Team was mobilized to Northern California. Very high to extreme fire indices were reported in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, and Texas. On the Big Bar fire yesterday, a camp crew member suffered a fatal heart attack during evacuation of camp on the southwest side of the fire. The fire community wishes to extend condolences to the family.

A strong high pressure system centered over Colorado will continue to affect the entire western United States today, producing dry, gusty east winds throughout the Pacific states, Intermountain region, and Great Basin. The weather will be clearing and warmer east of the Continental Divide. There is a chance of showers along the Washington coast.
High temperatures will be in the 40’s to 60’s in the Rocky Mountains and in the 50’s to lower 70’s in the northern Intermountain region. The Great Basin region temperatures will be in the 70’s and 80’s, while California will have temperatures ranging from the 70’s to the 90’s. Interior Oregon will be in the 70’s and 80’s, with temperatures in the 70’s in Washington. The Southwest desert temperatures will range from the 80’s to 103. Relative humidities between 5 and 15 percent will be occurring in eastern California, Arizona, and western Nevada.
A cold front moving southeast through the Gulf states will bring showers and thunderstorms, followed by clearing , breezy and cool conditions in the afternoon. Highs temperatures in Tennessee will be in the 60’s. In Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, high temperatures will be in the 70’s, except for the southern parts of those states which will be in the 80’s. The Texas panhandle will be mostly sunny with highs from 65 to 70.
… .”

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 364 7,088 76,131 1,954,157

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

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