Wildfires - June 2004
As reported by the National Interagency Fire Center, fire activity across the U.S. increased substantially during June. By the end of the month, over 1.6 million acres had burned across the U.S. The most significant of the large fire activity occurred in central and eastern Alaska (as well as in the adjacent Yukon Territory of Canada), where numerous fires continued to burn into July.
As of mid-July, over 2.4 million acres had burned across Alaska alone, with most of the fire activity occurring in areas east of Fairbanks. A thick pall of smoke over the region has affected the area for many weeks. Air quality levels from fine particulates (PM 2.5) reached the hazardous category over a large portion of the state.
Prior to June, during the pre-season as well as in May, fire activity had been slightly below average across the U.S. However, by the end of June the situation had changed dramatically, primarily due to the development and persistence of fire activity in Alaska.
|As of June 30, 2004||Nationwide Number of Fires||Nationwide Number of Acres Burned|
Elsewhere, short- and long-term drought conditions have continued to plague a large portion of the western U.S. Dry conditions in the Southwest U.S. have contributed to extremely low dead fuel moisture levels. Fine fuels remained extremely dry across the Southwest and the Great Basin, with 10-hr fuel moistures below 5%. Medium to larger fuels (i.e. 100-hr and 1000-hr) also continued to be extremely dry across the region, with 1000-hr fuels below 10% over most of the Southwest. At the end of June, the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI), a widely used index for fire risk, has the largest potential for fire activity in the contiguous U.S. across Florida, with areas of the Southwest and California also having increased potential for ignition and large fire development.
Additional Wildfires Links
- NOAA Fire Products
- NOAA Fire Imagery
- NOAA Economics
- U.S. Drought Monitor
- National Interagency Fire Center
- U.S. Forest Service Fire Maps
- Wildland Fire Assessment System
- Alaska Interagency Coordination Center
- Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center