The Federal Emergency Management Agency has published an article about wildfire, warning the public about wildfire conditions this year and how to be prepared. Curiously, the authors are Justin Dombrowski and John Maclean. Mr. Dombrowski is described as “Response Director, FEMA Region IX, and a former firefighter”. Mr. Maclean, “a FEMA reservist and a member of the Seeley Lake Volunteer Fire Department”, is the well-known author of several books about wildfire, his latest being The Esperanza Fire: Arson, Murder and the Agony of Engine 57.
Here is an excerpt from the FEMA article:
…The omens for this year’s fire season point to another year of drought and flame in the Southwest, Central Plains, and Rocky Mountains. From the high amount of fire activity in the past several years alone, it is clear wildfire is almost a nationwide threat. The season begins in Hawaii with continued drought and in Florida, where the Florida Forest Service is predicting a near-normal fire season after a see-saw pattern of warm and cool, wet and dry weather – unless “an unforeseen wet or dry spell emerge.”
In the Southwest, numerous Red Flag Warnings for incendiary conditions were issued as early as February, in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico… A long-term drought continues to extend from the southern Dakotas down through the central plains to the Southwestern states, which were hit hard by fire last year.
This year, the Front Range in Colorado, where the North Fork Fire burned last year, is again a national hotspot. Snowpack in the Front Range basins this year are only ninety percent of last year, according to Chris Cuoco, a senior forecaster for the National Weather Service based in Grand Junction, CO.