Elevated wildfire potential expected in Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and California

August wildfire outlook

On August 1 the Predictive Services section at the National Interagency Fire Center issued their Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for August through November. The data represents the cumulative forecasts of the ten Geographic Area Predictive Services Units and the National Predictive Services Unit.

If NIFC’s analysis is correct, areas in Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and California will have elevated potential for wildfires in August and September. With the monsoons moving into the Southwest there are no areas east of those four states that NIFC identified as having high wildfire potential between August and November.


  • An excerpt from the NIFC narrative report for the next several months;
  • More of NIFC’s monthly graphical outlooks;
  • NOAA’s three-month temperature and precipitation forecasts;
  • Drought Monitor;
  • Vegetation greenness map.From NIFC:

“Moderate to severe drought conditions exist across portions of northern Oregon, Washington, northern Idaho and western Montana. However, a recent extended period of cool and periodically moist conditions has lessened the drought stress in the vegetation. Moderate drought has emerged across the northeastern Interior of Alaska and on the Kenai Peninsula. Puerto Rico is also showing developing drought across the southern portion of the island.

“Looking forward, an active but compressed season is expected across the West as the southwestern monsoon becomes more active in August. While this will effectively end the season across the Southwest, lightning-induced fire activity is expected to increase elsewhere. Wind events, which have been largely absent thus far, will increase in frequency by mid to late month as dry frontal passages become a more common occurrence. The occurrence of both wind events and low humidities will influence an increase in fire behavior and growth. Activity in Alaska will continue to diminish as the frequency of frontal passages increases and as temperatures begin to cool. By mid-September the seasonal transition out of the core fire season will be underway as the seasonal transition begins to bring wetting systems to most regions.

“By October and November, however, California will reenter the fire season as Foehn Wind events begin to develop. Concerns this year are higher than average due to the presence of an abundant crop of fine fuels in the lower to middle elevations.”

September wildfire outlook

October wildfire outlook

November wildfire outlook

Temperature outlook
Temperature outlook for September, October, and November.
Precipitation outlook
Precipitation outlook for September, October, and November.
Drought Monitor
Drought Monitor
Relative Greenness
Relative Greenness

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+

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