planning ahead

2018 - Where's the fire?

The days are getting longer and warmer and, naturally, our thoughts should turn to fire.

There's no crystal ball to look into to predict which areas will have an extreme fire season but the National Interagency Fire Center, based in Boise, Idaho, does its best to give us a heads-up.

Check out their National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlooks for a sneak peek at what may be in store for your geographic area over the next few months. Fascinating stuff.


2017 - The year in fire

Telling graphs from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration based on statistics from the National Interagency Fire Center.

2017 ranked #3 for most acres burned on record - 9.78 million acres and #2 for most acres burned per fire on record - 147.9 acres burned/fire.


Living with wildfire

Heather Hansen, San Francisco Chronicle

I spent nearly two years reporting on wildfire alongside one the most highly experienced fire crews in the country in my hometown, Boulder, Colo. I learned when fire endangers lives it needs to be crushed as quickly as possible. But the right kind of fire is natural and often essential to healthy forests and watersheds; it is a force we cannot and, ultimately, do not want to eradicate.



Flooding (Wildfire's Act II)

According to the U.S. Geological Survey: "Wildfire can significantly alter the hydrologic response of a watershed to the extent that even modest rainstorms can produce dangerous flash floods and debris flows."

If you live near a burn area anywhere in the country, check out your flood risk using the USGS' Emergency Assessment of Post-Fire Debris-Flow Hazards

More info and tips:

California Water Science Center post-fire flooding info

California Flood Science info

California Flood Activity info


Wildland fire outlook

The "National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook” from the Predictive Services staff at National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) highlights the monthly potential for wildfires.

The NIFC post national fire news and offers tons of statistics.

Check out their "Current fire season outlook"