Greetings all! The latest Wildland Fire Potential Outlook was released today, and it is as expected. The continued hot and dry weather in early September will give us above normal fire activity in Northwestern Montana:
The good news, of course, is that we did receive a little precipitation in the North Fork – and that was welcome. But, we have two to three weeks of fire season left at least. Days are getting shorter, nighttime temperature and humidity recovery is significantly improving (except in the thermal belts), which really decreases fire activity.
We aren’t out of the woods yet – and we have the potential for some significant fire yet this fall, especially if we remain warm and dry through September into October.
Greetings, All!! As you can tell, fire season is upon us, as Lynn Ogle has pointed out.
Here is the latest monthly outlook for August, September and October.
The good news of course is that we benefited from a cold, wet June and the first half of July. The bad news is of course the hot, dry weather that has been parked over us for the past couple of weeks or so. That is forecasted to persist for a while, and we are forecasted to have a more active than normal fire season for the month of August:
Greetings everyone. Here is our first Outlook that can give us a reasonable hint of what the fire season might look like. The good news is that the forecast looks like a “normal” fire season for Northwest Montana – which of course includes the North Fork.
The bad news, of course, is that the rest of Montana, especially east of the Divide, is looking at potentially being significantly above normal wildland fire potential.
The caution for us is that even with the cool spring, and increased snowpack over the past month or two, those factors are transitory. That is, if we wind up turning off hot and dry in early July, the positive effects that the cool, wet spring we had will dissipate quickly. We had that a few years ago, and meteorologists called it a “Flash Drought.” It was not forecasted that summer and caught the meteorologists by surprise. They apologized the next spring for having told us we would have a “Slow Normal” fire season…
So, we need to prepare for a reasonably active fire season, as normal. One factor of course, is that resources will be spread thin with potentially a lot of activity elsewhere in the Northern Rockies, and around the Country.
While these Outlooks are useful, there are limits to their accuracy. The July Outlook will give us a better look at the conditions going into July, and the weather systems that might affect the rest of our fire season.
Thanks to all! Remember our Fuels Field Trip on June 15, and our Firewise Day on July 13.
In contrast to the July Outlook, the August Outlook projects Above Normal Wildland Fire Potential to extend through September in addition to August. The July Outlook had us returning to normal in September. Above Normal conditions will persist in October on the Eastside. Northwest Montana should return to normal in October. Here are some excerpts: Continue reading August National Wildland Fire Potential Outlook
This is as we would expect given our dry spring and spreading drought. The good news is that we in the North Fork are in a better position than most of the West. That is not much consolation since the outlook across the West is grim. Specifically for the Northern Rockies, here are some excerpts: Continue reading June 1st National Wildland Fire Potential