Fuels and fire behavior advisory for the south

One of the Predictive Services offices, it is unclear which one, distributed this advisory. Our opinion is that when someone provides technical advice, or suggests that others take action or modify their behavior, they should be accountable.

****Predictive Services

Fuels and Fire Behavior Advisory
Southern Area
Southern Appalachian Mountains
October 7-21, 2016

Subject: Increasing Fire Danger in area of Hurricane Matthew subsidence

wildfire fuels advisory

Discussion: An area of exceptional drought with Energy Release Component values above the 90th percentile currently exists over an area covering a large portion of the Southern Area. With the passage of Hurricane Matthew along the east coast relative humidity values are forecast to drop into the teens over this area. There will also be a high likelihood of gusty winds, especially along the western face of the Appalachian Mountains.

Difference from normal conditions: The area of subsidence associated with Hurricane Matthew will exacerbate the already dry environment and move ERC values over a large area above the 97th percentile over the next 10 days.

Concerns to Firefighters and the Public: Any fire in this area will be very resistant to control efforts. Expect complete consumption of fuels down to mineral soil or rock, frequent torching, and increased spotting. Fire intensities will be higher than normal which will likely preclude direct attack of fires. Expect the need for extended mop-up. Expect an increase in long duration fires; with heavy fuels being available to burn and leaves coming off of trees expect a higher than normal probability of re-burn on contained fires.

Mitigation Measures: Do not expect any fire to be routine. Be prepared to utilize indirect tactics with extended mop-up. Utilize aerial supervision to help direct crews and keep them informed on fire behavior. Ensure that LCES is in place before engaging on any fire. Remember to STOP, THINK and TALK before you ACT…actively look for ways to minimize risk to firefighters in what is forecast to be a period of very high fire danger.

Area of Concern: Alabama, Mississippi, Central and north Georgia, Tennessee and the mountain areas of Western South Carolina and North Carolina.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Perry.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

12 thoughts on “Fuels and fire behavior advisory for the south”

  1. Dear Bill, accountable for what? you had mentioned you wanted folks held accountable but for what? Thanks for the good intel, always!

    1. Accountable for the very technical and detailed analysis, advice, and recommendations. An anonymous warning by default has very little credibility. Writers should have the courage to sign advisories like this.

      1. While I agree they should somehow sign the advisory to both give it authenticity and assume responsibility, I can’t help but wonder where it even came from. Is there a link I’m missing? Did someone email this to you?

      2. Singing it is the least of my complaints.

        You are representing this as an official governmental advisement. This is totally false!
        This is deplorable reporting and should be retracted!

        Malaki W.

  2. What a load of rubbish!
    A responsible agency would follow through and source the advisory before publishing anything of the sort. I have yet to find ‘ANY’ official agency announcement.


  3. I did a search and could find no link to the original report. imo, this very well could be a fake advisory.

    1. Sorry. Your article is good.
      A suggestion: would have been helpful if you provided the link in the article.

    1. There is no indication what office or person wrote or posted it. The .pdf document was placed on the National Interagency Fire Center web site in the directory for SACC documents.

  4. Bill,

    I think you have a very valid point that all fire weather products should be identified and signed by the author. During my 40 years as a National Weather Service and Predictive Services fire weather meteorologist, it was standard procedure to sign every weather forecast and general product issued. Unfortunately, that is not the case now. Forecasts and even Red Flag Warnings are not signed by the forecaster. Today, both the Rapid City and Cheyenne National Weather Service offices issued red flag warnings that were not signed by the forecaster. See the URL following URL for the specifics.

    http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=unr&wwa=red flag warning

    I hope you will use your influence, through this blog, to change policy for both the National Weather Service and Predictive Services that insures all products are signed.


    Paul Werth
    Fire Weather Meteorologist
    Weather Research and Consulting Services, LLC

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