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Published August 21, 2013
Wildland Fire Outlook(September 2013)
Data Source(s): National Interagency Coordination Center, Southwest Coordination Center
The September forecast, issued by the National Interagency Coordination Center, calls for normal wildland fire activity, which will likely be present through the winter (Figure 13).
The onset of monsoon precipitation in southern portions of Arizona and New Mexico occurs around July 1 and peak fire activity wanes soon thereafter. During the 2000–2012 period, on average only 10 percent of the total acres burned in the calendar year occurred after July. This summer has followed that pattern. As of August 11, only 3,388 and 882 acres have burned since July 1 in Arizona and New Mexico, respectively, while 82,612 and 185,118 burned before July 1. Consequently, fire risk was downgraded to level 1 on July 19. Level 1 risk is present when conditions are not conducive for frequent large fire growth in most of the Southwest and normal fire-fighting staff is adequate. Level 1 risk usually occurs during the winter or when rain conditions or green fuel conditions predominate. Grasslands may be more prone to fires during the monsoon season, as they can dry out quickly from breaks in the monsoon.
The National Interagency Coordination Center at the National Interagency Fire Center produces seasonal wildland fire outlooks each month. They are subjective assessments that synthesize information provided by fire and climate experts throughout the United States. The forecast (Figure 14) considers observed climate conditions, climate and weather forecasts, vegetation health, and surface-fuels conditions in order to assess potential for fires greater than 100 acres.
National Wildland Fire Outlook:
Southwest Wildland Fire Outlook:
Southwest Climate Outlook Staff
- Michael Crimmins, UA Extension Specialist
- Stephanie Doster, Institute of the Environment Editor
- Gregg Garfin, Founding Editor, Institute of the Environment
- Zack Guido, Managing Editor, CLIMAS Associate Staff Scientist
- Nancy J. Selover, Arizona State Climatologist
- Jessica Dollin, CLIMAS Publications Assistant
- Dave Dubois, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
The CLIMAS Web site contains official and non-official forecasts, as well as other information. While we make every effort to verify this information, please understand that we do not warrant the accuracy of any of these materials.... Read full disclaimer