Wildfires - August 2003


During the first half of August, and especially in the middle third of the month, wildfire activity increased in parts of the northern Rockies. Especially hard hit was the Missoula, Montana area where some evacuations were necessary. In Montana, on August 21st there were 25 large fires burning, 7 of which had already scorched over 20,000 acres apiece. Two of those fires had burned over 40,000 acres each. Over 340,000 acres have burned in Montana as of August 21st. Large fires were also burning in Idaho and Wyoming. At the end of the month, the northern Rockies were still the focus of fire activity in the nation.

As of September 1 Nationwide Number of Fires Nationwide Number of Acres Burned
2003 44,823 2,695,156
2002 62,549 6,334,283
2001 58,340 2,913,761
10-year Average 62,880 3,523,932

Seasonal (January 1-September 1st) wildfire statistics, according to the National Interagency Fire Center are in the table to the right.


Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Wildfires for August 2003, published online September 2003, retrieved on September 23, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/fire/2003/8.