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...Drought & Fire Weather...
Drought and wildfires seem to go hand in hand. Over the years, wildfires have
claimed hundreds of thousands of acres across Texas, Oklahoma and portions of
Louisiana and Arkansas. Maps depicting the present drought and seasonal Forecasts can be found
A map and a listing of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma counties that have any burn
bans in place can be accessed at:
We should never let down our guard. Wildfires can occur during any
year, even wet ones. And not all wildfires are the same. As a matter of fact,
the weather largely dictates fire behavior, controlling how quickly a fire
spreads, how hot and how long the flames grow, and whether the fire is able to
jump a road or other barrier. Temperature, humidity and wind are the
controlling parameters that affect fire Behavior.
In some cases National Weather Service forecasters are tasked with forecasting
weather conditions near an ongoing wildfire. These forecasts help firefighters
develop a strategy to fight the fire with greater efficiency and safety. A
sudden shift in wind direction can put fire fighters in great danger, possibly
blowing flames or suffocating smoke in their direction. This type of
forecasting has its own name: a fire weather forecast. A local wildfire
forecast is commonly called a spot forecast due to the small area of interest.
The National Weather Service in Shreveport produces a daily fire weather
forecast. You can view this forecast at: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/shv/?n=firewx.
Also, the storm prediction center produces a national fire weather forecast for
a two-day period. This information can be found on their home page at: