Wildfires - April 2007


Large wildland fire activity at the end of the month was concentrated in northern Minnesota and in the Southeast. The areas of fire activity were in parts of the country experiencing drought and abnormally dry conditions. A satellite image from 2 May shows Southeastern fires. Another satellite image depicts the fires burning and associated smoke plumes on 8 May.

From the beginning of 2007 until the end of April, there have been over 19,000 wildland fires across the Southern area (which encompasses 13 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia), and about 375,000 acres were burned, according to estimates from the National Interagency Fire center. Two–thirds of the fires and acres burned so far this year in the contiguous United States have been in the Southern area.

In early May, a large fire had burned over 600 acres in the Griffith Park area of Los Angeles. Fire activity had also increased significantly across Florida, and a state of emergency was declared by Gov. Charlie Crist on May 3rd due to the drought and extreme wildfire danger.

2007 Wildfire Statistics (Source: NIFC)
Totals as of 2 May 2007 Nationwide Number of Fires Nationwide Number of Acres Burned
5/2/2007 25,307 498,694
5/2/2006 35,113 2,252,647
5/2/2005 18,404 268,346
5/2/2004 24,677 376,545
5/2/2003 16,364 334,387
5/2/2002 24,003 422,582
5/2/2001 23,817 483,049

Dead fuel moisture levels were very dry in April. The 10–hour fuel moisture levels on 30 April were extremely dry throughout most of the Southwest and parts of the Southeast.

Medium to larger fuels (i.e., the 30 April 100–hr and 30 April 1000–hr fuel moistures) were unusually dry over the past month in a large area of the West and and in the Southeast.

The Keetch–Byram Drought Index (KBDI), a widely used index for fire risk, had the largest potential for wildland fire activity in the contiguous U.S. in the Southwest, Wyoming, western North Dakota, southern Georgia, and Florida. In addition, the observed experimental fire potential index was anomalously high in the Southwest.


Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Wildfires for April 2007, published online May 2007, retrieved on November 26, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/fire/2007/4.