Wildfires - June 2007


Over the past several months, fire activity has spread across parts of the U.S. that have experienced unusually dry conditions and severe–to–extreme drought. During June, large wildland fire activity was reported across parts of the West, Southwest, and Pacific Northwest, as well as across the Southeast and Florida.

According to estimates from the National Interagency Fire center (NIFC), over 46,000 wildland fires were reported across the U.S. through the end of June, with approximately 1.7 million acres burned.

Wildfire activity intensified in parts of California during June, with the worst impacts occurring near Lake Tahoe. A fast spreading wildfire southwest of South Lake Tahoe in late June destroyed over 200 homes, buildings and other structures.

Wildfire activity broke out across Canada in June, and has continued into early July. In northwestern Canada, fire activity increased across parts of the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, generating extensive smoke plumes that drifted downwind towards Alaska. Overseas, fires broke out in late June across the northern parts of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland.

Dead fuel moisture levels were unusually dry across the western U.S. over the past month. The 10–hour fuel moisture levels on July 1st were exceptionally dry throughout most of the western U.S., as well as across parts of Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

Medium to larger fuels (i.e., the 30th June 100–hr and 30th June 1000–hr fuel moistures) were also unusually dry over the past month, with the driest conditions across a large area that encompasses the Southwest, Great Basin, and Rocky Mountains.

2007 Wildfire Statistics (Source: NIFC)
Totals as of July 3rd Nationwide Number of Fires Nationwide Number of Acres Burned
7/3/2007 47,224 1,899,367
7/3/2006 57,949 3,821,505
7/3/2005 30,609 2,483,979
7/3/2004 39,279 1,952,603
7/3/2003 27,671 849,763
7/3/2002 43,784 2,994,639
7/3/2001 41,374 1,112,053

The satellite-derived experimental fire potential index on July 1st had anomalously high fire potential across a very large area of the Southwest, the Great Basin and the Four Corners region.

The Keetch–Byram Drought Index (KBDI), a widely used drought index for fire risk, had the largest potential for wildland fire activity in the contiguous U.S. in southern California, Nevada, Arizona, as well as across Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the panhandle of Florida.


Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Wildfires for June 2007, published online July 2007, retrieved on July 22, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/fire/2007/6.