Busy week of wildfire activity in the South slowed by rain and snow

The Bertha Swamp Road Fire in Florida has burned more than 33,000 acres

Precipitation & wildfire activity, March 12, 2022 United States
Precipitation accumulated in the 72-hour period ending at 6 p.m. March 12, 2022. The black dots represent wildfires March 12, 2022.

After a week of very busy wildfire activity across the Southern Geographic Area, rain and snow have reduced, at least temporarily, the spread of most of the blazes.

The National Interagency Incident Management Situation Report is only issued once a week about six months of the year because there are fewer large fires in the 11 western states during the fall, winter, and spring. This is the National Interagency Coordination Center’s policy “unless significant activity occurs.”

For the 7-day period that ended Thursday night the weekly Sit Report issued Friday morning listed 60 wildfires in the Southern Area that were larger than 100 acres. Those fires covered portions of three pages. The largest was the Chipola Complex that totaled 34,203 acres (and prompted evacuations). Another 10 exceeded 1,000 acres.

In the Situation Report below, scroll down to see the 60 fires in the Southern Geographic Area.

[pdf-embedder url=”https://wildfiretoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Sit-Report-March-11-2022.pdf” title=”Sit Report March 11, 2022″]


Chipola Complex of fires

The map above shows precipitation that accumulated over the 72-hour period that ended Saturday March 12 at 6 a.m. CST. A weather station at Panama City just west of the Chipola Complex measured 0.76 inch of rain since March 9. That will be enough to slow the spread of the 33,131-acre Bertha Swamp Road Fire and help the Florida Forest Service (FFS) complete a fireline around it, but some of the heavy fuels left after the passage of Hurricane Michael could continue burning within the interior.

Bertha Swamp Road Fire, March 11, 2022
Bertha Swamp Road Fire, March 11, 2022. Florida Forest Service image.

The Blue Incident Management Team has started transitioning the incident back to the FFS Chipola Forestry Center.

The other two fires in the Complex are the Adkins Avenue (875 acres) and the Star Avenue (197 acres). There has not been much activity on those fires for several days.

The agency reports that Hurricane Michael destroyed 2.8 million acres of trees in the Panhandle and said much of the debris remains on the ground, and will be ready to burn after a few days of dry weather.

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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.

2 thoughts on “Busy week of wildfire activity in the South slowed by rain and snow”

  1. Would someone familiar with the situation please elaborate on why we have sit reports weekly and daily during “fire season” – when fire season is / can be year round? Can NIFC really not get the funding to have the staff to write the report? I know Boise is stupid expensive to live in – so the position would actually have to be paid according to the LOCALE eh hem cough cough thats what LOCALITY PAY is supposed to help with?

    1. Seems like “but we’ve always done it this way” mentality. But I agree that some year-round product is needed. And I think with web-based technology and data, something better than a 1980’s product is possible.


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