Seasonal Fire Assessment and Outlook
National Interagency Fire Center – Fire activity across the North American Continent reached a muted peak in August. A weakened monsoon was sufficient to curtail fire activity across the Southwest and produce several lightning events across the Great Basin, Oregon, and Northern Rockies. California remained free of monsoon-induced lightning activity until late in the month.
An unusually low number of critical wind events occurred. The ones that occurred did not occur coincident with or following the lightning activity except for one event that occurred early in the month following a four-day lightning burst.
During this period, there was a noticeable increase in initial attack but lingering elevated moisture in the live fuels prevented substantial fire growth despite the presence of a much greater than average fuel density.
Generally speaking, temperatures were slightly above average across the American West while precipitation was near average across the northwest and northern Great Plains and below average across the southwest and Texas.
Activity across Alaska remained well above average for fire danger the first half of the month as the preexisting dry conditions along with hot and dry weather continued to promote active fire growth and development. A series of wet systems mid-month, however, provided enough moisture to effectively remove most of the state from its season. By month’s end, only southcentral parts of the state remained elevated for fire danger as large fires continued to burn on the Kenai Peninsula and across the Matanuska Susitna Valley.