Wildfires - July 2013

NCEI added Alaska climate divisions to its nClimDiv dataset on Friday, March 6, 2015, coincident with the release of the February 2015 monthly monitoring report. For more information on this data, please visit the Alaska Climate Divisions FAQ.

Updated: 15 July 2013

Number of Fires & Acres burned in July (2000-2013)
Number of fires & acres burned in July 2000-2013
Acres burned per fire in July (2000-2013)
Acres burned per fire in July 2000-2013


During July, wildfire activity was below average. An estimated 6,149 fires burned 866,765 acres, with an average fire size of 141 acres per fire. The number of fires during July was the least on record, while the acreage burned was the third least in the 14-year period of record. Despite the low fire counts during the month, several large wildfires did impact the West. The Douglas Complex Fire in southwest Oregon burned approximately 28,000 acres between July 26th and the end of the month and was only 9 percent contained on August 1st. This fire caused significant air quality issues in the Northwest. The Bison Fire in western Nevada burned 24,000 acres and was one of the largest fires to ever impact that part of the state. Neither fire directly impacted populated areas. For the year-to-date, the number of fires was record low, while the acreage burned was the fourth smallest on record.

1-Month Wildfire Statistics*
July Totals Rank
(out of 14 years)
Record 2000-2010
Value Year
Acres Burned 866,765 12ᵗʰ Most 3,439,347 2004 1,610,142
3ʳᵈ Least
Number of Fires 6,149 14ᵗʰ Most 17,352 2008 9,220
Least on Record
Acres Burned per Fire 141.0 8ᵗʰ Most 518.9 2004 192.1
7ᵗʰ Least
Year-to-Date Wildfire Statistics*
January–July Totals Rank
(out of 14 years)
Record 2000-2010
Value Year
Acres Burned 2,367,271 11ᵗʰ Most 6,091,572 2011 3,505,217
4ᵗʰ Least
Number of Fires 28,199 14ᵗʰ Most 69,656 2006 50,013
Least on Record
Acres Burned per Fire 83.9 5ᵗʰ Most 133.5 2011 70.6
10ᵗʰ Least

*Data Source: The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC)


U.S. Drought Monitor map from 30 July  2013
U.S. Drought Monitor map from 30 July 2013
Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

Much of the nation was wetter than average during July, with the exception of the Northwest and Upper Mississippi River Valley. Increased monsoonal flow in the Southwest caused widespread precipitation and limited wildfire activity across the region. Several large wildfires burned in Alaska, where the month as warm and dry, creating ideal wildfire conditions. Over the course of July, drought conditions changed little in the drought-stricken West, despite the above-average rainfall. Parts of the Southern Rockies and Southern Plains did experience some drought improvement. As of July 30th, over 20 percent of Alaska was experiencing drought conditions, with a small portion of central Alaska in severe drought.

Large Fire Maps

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Wildfires for July 2013, published online August 2013, retrieved on July 31, 2015 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/fire/201307.