Reporter’s Notebook: Fire Season

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I’ll have more on this in today’s edition of the Daily Press, but wanted to include two maps I found while doing research for a story yesterday (click for larger versions):

Southwest Fire Weather Outlook

Southwest Fire Behavior Outlook

Both maps come to us from the Southwest Coordination Center. You can find updated (looks like daily) versions of these maps at the Center’s Predictive Outlook page.

I wanted to highlight these maps, as they give a good overall sense of what’s happening in the region. Dry lightning is a huge concern right now for fire officials (right up there with fireworks) and the first map does a great job of showing how thunderstorms are behaving.

Checking the second map, you can see Silver City is just on the cusp of “Active” fire behavior, with the western third of Grant County firmly in the yellow. That second map shows what fire might do in a particular region. Wind conditions, temperature, fuel levels and other criteria determine a fire’s course and behavior, and that changes on a daily basis. Nonetheless, the overall picture is an important one to study.

Like I said, more in the Daily Press this evening.

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