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Published May 22, 2013
Wildland Fire Outlook(June 2013)
Data Source(s): National Interagency Coordination Center, Southwest Coordination Center
Above-normal significant fire potential developed across much of the southern halves of New Mexico and Arizona in May, a consequence of dry winter conditions combined with rising temperatures and winds typical of May. Significant wildfire potential is defined as the likelihood that a wildland fire will require additional fire-fighting resources from outside the area in which the fire originated. Drought has been widespread in the Southwest for several years, and moderate or more severe drought currently covers most of Arizona and New Mexico. Historically, the best predictor of the size of fires is drought conditions.
In June, areas of above-normal significant wildland fire potential are expected to spread up into northern areas of Arizona and New Mexico (Figure 14). Elevated fire risk will persist until monsoon rains substantially moisten the landscape. Currently, only two fires larger than 100 acres have burned in Arizona and New Mexico since January 1. Nonetheless, the potential exists for a significant fire season, but whether or not conditions will support sustained periods of activity is still uncertain, according to the National Interagency Fire Center Predictive Services.
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 fire potential for fires greater than 100 acres.
National Wildland Fire Outlook web page:
Southwest Coordination Center web page:
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