Fire season in January

record high temperature

record high temperatureAlong with news of the 45,000 to 55,000 acres that have burned near Browning, Montana over the last 18 hours, comes more news that several cities in the United States are setting records today for high temperatures for the date. Below are the highest recorded so far today, which are already new records, with a few more hours of heating left:

  • Fargo, ND 44
  • Grand Forks, ND 43
  • Mitchell, SD 52
  • Kalispell, MT 52

Record high temperatures can mean more wildfires and more opportunities for prescribed fires. Steve Ispwitch, the Fire Management Officer of the Standing Rock Agency in South Dakota and North Dakota, wrote to us today:

I have submitted my third severity request so far in fiscal year 2012 for Standing Rock Agency, all of which have been approved. It has been unusually warm and dry since October, and we have had a couple of 170 acre fires in October and November that we caught with our engines and a SEAT. We have also been taking advantage of the ability to conduct prescribed burning when possible. We burned on December 28 and January 4, the latest and earliest perscribed fires (respectively) in any given year so far. Stay safe…

Right now, at 12:03 p.m MT, it is 61 here in southwest SD. I don’t know if that’s a record, but it has led to my decision to go hop on the motorcycle and take advantage of this great January weather. See ya!From The Back

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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.