Below are summaries from the National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook, provided by the National Interagency Fire Center, for the period of March 2022 through June 2022. Additionally, the full wildfire outlook can be located here.
|Year-to-date statistics||Number of Fires||Acreage Burned|
|2022 (01/01/22 – 02/25/22)||7,087||149,774|
|10-year Average (2012-2021)||3,779||79,574|
|Percentage of 10-year Average||187%||188%|
Observations in February:
Fire activity increased in February, especially across the Southern Area. Subsequently, the year-to-date number of fires and acres burned for the US is nearly double the 10-year average. More than 90% of the acres burned came from the Southern Area, which is typical for this time of year.
Most of the West, Plains, and Texas remain in drought. Moreover, much of the West and Plains had a dry February, with snowpack across the West now near to below normal. Climate outlooks through spring indicate areas receiving below normal precipitation will likely expand generally south to north across the West, with below normal temperatures likely continuing across the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies.
Consequently, climate outlooks through Spring indicate areas receiving below normal precipitation will likely expand generally south to north across the West, with below normal temperatures likely continuing across the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies. Above normal precipitation is forecast for much of the Great Lakes and Northeast through Spring, with near to above normal temperatures across the central and eastern US. Also, there are indications for an active severe weather pattern this spring from eastern portions of the Plains into the Southeast and Ohio Valley. Additionally, critically dry and windy periods will accompany the severe weather for much of the Plains, especially the southern and central High Plains.
Wildfire Outlook for March – June:
Normal significant fire potential is set to occur across areas in Northern California from March through May. However, above normal potential is likely by June for the Bay Area, Mid Coast-Mendocino, and Sacramento Valley-Foothills areas. Southern California will experience significant fire potential across most of the geographic area from March through June. However, the potential for significant fires will become above normal across coastal areas by June.
Additionally, above normal significant fire potential is forecast to expand across Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas during March and April, with lingering above normal potential forecast to remain in Florida during May. Much of the central and southern Plains are likely to have above normal significant fire potential into April, while persisting on the High Plains and eastern slopes of the Front Range into June. Above normal potential is forecast in portions of south Texas and the Hill Country during March, with the westward retreat of above normal potential in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas following the expected green-up procession.
The forecast is above normal significant fire potential for most of the Southwest in May and June. During this time, the potential could increase across southern and western Colorado and southern portions of the Great Basin. Central Oregon is likely to have above normal significant fire potential in May and June. NIFC predicts below normal potential for Alaska in its panhandle through April. Nevertheless, below normal potential will occur across large portions of the Interior in April and May.