Wildfire news February 13, 2012

Precipitation percent of normal

Kisatchie to burn 130,000 acres

The Kisatchie National Forest near Alexandria, Louisiana (map) has plans to burn 130,000 acres in prescribed fires this year, according to Ed Bratcher, the U.S. Forest Service Fire, Land and Mineral Team leader. Much of the ignition will be done with a helicopter. Here is a link to a recent video in which Larry Kyle said they were about to ignite a 1,155-acre prescribed fire with 14 firefighters, including those in the helicopter. He expected they could get it done in four to five hours.

Extremely dry in some regions of the United States

I stopped trying to predict the intensity of fire seasons long ago. The number of fires and acres burned is primarily affected by the weather DURING the fire season. If the fire season is cool and wet, there will not be many large fires. But if the current trends continue for several months, the extremely dry conditions in some areas of the United States could lead to firefighters being very busy.

The “Percent of Normal Precipitation” map indicates that those areas include the upper midwest, the southwest and the southeast. As the east coast and midwest enter their fire seasons, firefighters could find themselves going from fire to fire.

Precipitation percent of normal

The CBS station in Minneapolis, Minnesota quotes Byron Paulson, the Fire Weather Program Leader at the National Weather Service, as saying he’s never seen the land as dry as it is this year.

Below is one of the maps from our article on February 1 which covered the wildfire potential for the next 30 to 90 days.

Wildfire outlook, February, 2012

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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.

One thought on “Wildfire news February 13, 2012”

  1. 14 FFs minus the helo crew minus the ground igniters minus overhead leaves how many FFs to hold? Seems kinda light on personnel, no?


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