Collaboration in Civic Spheres

U.S. wildfire risk zones and current incidents: mapped

by Matt Rosenberg June 26th, 2012

Washington state isn’t currently included in the areas predicted to be at greatest risk for wildfires this summer, according to The National Wildland Significant Fire Potential Outlook for July through September that is updated monthly online by the National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC) in Boise, Idaho. But ten other states are, all in the western U.S. The current report includes a map showing where the greatest risk of significant wildland fires exists this summer, shown below.

From National Wildland Significant Fire Potential Outlook, National Interagency Coordination Center, June, 2012

Significant wildland fire potential is highest in southeast Oregon, southwest Idaho, northern Nevada, coastal southwest California, a large swath of Arizona, western New Mexico, western Colorado, eastern Utah, southwestern Wyoming, and the northwest portion of the island of Hawaii. The NICC defines “significant fire potential” as the likelihood that a wildland fire will develop and will require firefighting personnel and resources from outside the immediate area.

A map of current active large wildfires is provided online and updated daily by the U.S. Forest Service. (HatTip to reader Clyde Phillips, of Caldwell, Idaho). Users can click on map points for detailed information on any fire shown. Today, the map shows 38 large wildland fie incidents.

The NICC report also includes a map issued last week showing where U.S. drought conditions are expected to persist or intensify, and where they’re projected to improve. A portion of Washington state falls into the first category. The map is shown below.

From National Wildland Significant Fire Potential Outlook, National Interagency Coordination Center, June 21, 2012

A summer climate outlook map from the office of the Washington State Climatologist shows the projected likelihood of temperatures rising above historical norms in dozens of different locales.


Editor’s note: The National Interagency Coordination Center is made up of the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service, Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the National Association of State Foresters.


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