GFMC: Forest Fires in the United States

Forest Fires in the United States

08 September 2003

Latest Satellite Images: 

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Fires inIdaho and Montana 
Heat signatures and smoke plumes (light blue haze) are visible from several fires burning inCalifornia on 04 September 2003.
Source: OSEI

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Fires inWashington 
Heat signatures and smoke plumes (light blue haze) are visible from several fires burning inWashington on 04 September 2003.
Source: OSEI

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Fires in Oregon
The area affected by the B & B Complex Fire in Oregon swelled to more than61,000 acres as of September 3, 2003. This image of the complex was captured bythe Moderate ResolutionImaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite on September 2, and it shows the active fire detections observed bythe sensor marked in yellow with a red outline. The fire is burning in terrainon the eastern slopes of the Cascade Range Mountains, which stand out inforested green in the center of the image.
Source: NASA/EO

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Rocky Mountain Fires
More than 20 large fires are burning in the Northern Rockies region of Montanaand Idaho as of September 4, 2003. Nearly half a million acres in the U.S. havebeen affected by the fires, which are marked in red in this ModerateResolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the Terra satellite on September 2. Additional fires have been burning for weeks in theRockies in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, to the north.
Source: NASA/EO

The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) based in Boise (Idaho) provides key information on current wildland fire situations, related information and background materials. The following information is updated daily and can be accessed directly:

  • State-by-State daily and year-to-date summary of fire activities

  • Year-to-date State-by-State total number of wildland fires and area burned (table)

  • Daily locations of large fires (map)

The National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC)  provides daily situation reports. These reports include:

  • Incident Management Situation Reports (fires and area burned reported to NICC). The files include current, previous and archived reports

  • Prescribed Fire and Wildland Fire Use (year-to-date fires and area burned reported to NICC, posted weekly on Monday mornings)

Archived NICC Incident Management Reports (recent daily reports and archived daily reports 1994-1997) are provided by the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI)

More current Information about the fire situation inUnited States from 08 September 2003, See: The National Incident Management Situation Report by NICC

The National Wildfire Information Interagency provides detailed informationon each individual state with active fires.

Fire Weather & Fire Danger Information

The Wildland Fire Assessment System (WFAS) is a contribution of “The Fire Behavior Research Work Unit”, Missoula (Montana USA). The broad area component of the Wildland Fire Assessment System (WFAS) generates maps of selected fire weather and fire danger components.

Fire Danger (Potential) is a normalized adjective rating class across different fuel models and station locations. It is based on information provided by local station managers about the primary fuel model, fire danger index selected to reflect staffing level, and climatological class breakpoints. Low danger (Class 1) is green and extreme potential (Class 5) is red.

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fire danger (observed time) fire danger (forecasted)

Latest fire dangermap for the United States (observation time) and forecasted fire danger map forthe subsquent day
(Source: WAFS)

Dead fuel moisture responds solely to ambient environmental conditions and is critical in determining fire potential. Dead fuel moistures are classed by timelag.

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10-HR Fuel Moisture 100-HR Fuel Moisture 1000-HR Fuel Moisture

Latest fuel moisture maps for conterminousUS
(Source: WAFS)

The Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) is a soil/duffdrought index. Factors in the index are maximum daily temperature, dailyprecipitation, antecedent precipitation, and annual precipitation. The indexranges from 0 (no drought) to 800 (extreme drought) (details).

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Latest Keetch-Byram drought index map for conterminousUS
(Source: WAFS)

For more Satellite Images displaying recent fires in the US, please visit NASA´SEarth Observatory at: EarthObservatory provides MODIS and Landsat Scenes of fires allover the planet.

For more information on the recent fire situation in the US see also: Recent Media Highlights on Fire, Policies, and Politics.

Long-range weather forecasts
National Weather Service
Long-range, 30-day weather forecasts are predicting above-normal temperatures for the southern tier of states from southern California to Florida and throughout the Midwest (see 30 and 90-day forecast maps).

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30 and 90-day temperature and precipitation forecast maps(August to October 2003)
(Source: National Weather Service)

For further information see: Wildfire Season Forecast of the Florida Division of Forestry
For further information you may also see to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

For background information on the Southern Area see the Edited Version of the Southern Area Intelligence Briefing Paper for 22 April 2001.

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