16-Mile Fire: Pennsylvania

The 16-Mile Fire was first reported on April 20th near Sixteen Mile Run, east of Cresco, Pennsylvania. By April 23rd the fire had consumed over 4,000 acres and destroyed one structure. As of April 27th, the fire has burned more than 8,000 acres and is now 60% contained. So far, 11 structures have been destroyed; two cabins, three seasonal homes, and six outbuildings. No injuries have been reported as a result of the fire.

Despite heavy rains recently, fire crews continue to monitor the fire while improving containment lines on the fire’s flanks. Control lines have been established along the southern and western sides of the fire. In the north, control lines have been completed and improved. Crews will continue to provide structure protection for cabins near the Pine Flats Cabin Colony and the Beaver Run Club (to the east) according to Bureau of Forestry officials. There are an estimated 140 structures that are still threatened in the general area of the fire. Forecasted rain showers should help reduce the possibility of new spot fires outside of containment lines.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said that the 16-Mile Fire is the second largest fire in the state of Pennsylvania in 26 years. In 1990 a wildfire consumed more than 10,000 acres in Sproul State Forest. Fire investigators believe the 16-Mile Fire was intentionally set and have offered a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

16 Mile Picture

Copiague Fire: Long Island, NY

The fire started on April 20th at a home on E. Santa Barbara Road in Lindenhurst on Long Island. Firefighters were unsuccessful in their attempt to keep the fire from spreading and it quickly moved to four additional houses nearby before jumping Strongs Creek, sparking a brushfire on Indian Island, a nearby wildlife refuge. Five houses were damaged by the fire with three of those being totally destroyed.

Strong northerly winds gusting to 20 mph helped fuel the fire as it spread to roughly 54 acres on Indian Island before fire boats contained the blaze several hours later. A total of 200 firefighters from 15 different departments were called to the scene. No residents were injured as a result of the fire but two firefighters suffered smoke inhalation and one was hospitalized. Arson Section detectives believe the fire to be non-criminal in nature. The investigation is continuing.

Copiague Fire Map

Rocky Mountain Fire: Shenandoah National Park, VA

The Rocky Mountain Fire was first reported on Saturday April 16th, 2016, in the South District of the Shenandoah National Park.  Crews are working hard to keep the fire within the park boundary along Skyline Drive. Due to the complexity of the incident, a Type 1 Incident Commander and the Southern Area Red Command Team will take over management of the fire on Wednesday April 20th.  As of April 19, resources have mapped the fire at 2,094 acres with no reported containment.

The fire has prompted the closure of 15 trails within the park, including a 4 mile section of the popular Appalachian Trail. These closures are in effect until further notice.  No structures or buildings have been reported as damaged to date.



Rocky Mountain_Blog Image_20160419

Newhall Fire: Valencia, CA

A 2-3 acre fire was reported around 7:15 a.m. near Newhall Ranch Road and Copper Hill Drive in Valencia, California on April 15th. The fire grew to 33 acres by 1:00 p.m. due to 25 mph winds in the area. Helicopters were on scene to support firefighters on the ground.

No buildings or houses were damaged, but nearby Albert Einstein Academy was voluntarily evacuated due to the fire. Fire officials have stated that they have the fire 65% contained and have stopped forward progress. Firefighters were expected to extinguish any remaining hot spots in the area throughout the day.


A screen capture from RedZone’s RZAlert Dashboard


Anderson Creek Fire nears containment in Kansas and Oklahoma

The Anderson Creek Fire continued to burn through Kansas from Oklahoma, but was nearing full containment as of March 29. Erratic weather over the preceding weekend prevented daily perimeter flights and hindered firefighters’ efforts. On Monday the 28th, aerial attempts were finally successful, allowing crews to gain a more precise acreage measurement of 367,620 and containment up to 95%. As of Tuesday, March 29th, twelve homes had been reported as destroyed. Blackhawk choppers, along with rain and snow, helped the firefighters improve containment lines and make progress on the fire. The Anderson Creek Fire is the largest wildfire in Kansas history.

The Oklahoma Forestry Service released this fire progression map on March 28th after receiving flight data. The bright red portions in the eastern area show the most recently-active areas of the fire. An unfavorable weather system passed west to east over the area throughout the 28th and 29th, and crews were optimistic about the firefighting plans for the subsequent days.


Anderson Creek Fire - OK & KS - Fire Progression by Oklahoma Forestry Services

Anderson Creek Fire – OK & KS – Fire Progression by Oklahoma Forestry Services


Anderson Creek Fire


Hundreds of firefighters battled a wildfire that burned over 400,000 acres in Kansas and Oklahoma, with about two-thirds of the burning occuring in Kansas. The governor of Kansas declared a State of Emergency on March 23rd, after 45 mph winds caused the fire to grow rapidly. The grass fire was first reported around 5:45 p.m. on March 22nd, in Woods County, Oklahoma. The fire was so large that radar sweeps picked it up, as winds helped spread it north into Kansas.

A statement from the Kansas Adjutant General’s office early March 24th declared the fire “under control” in Comanche County, but not yet to the east in Barber County. It added that voluntary evacuations had ended in the Lake City and Sun City communities. Fire officials stated that numerous communities and structures (800 to 1,000 homes) remained under threat as of March 25th. Two houses to the north of Medicine Lodge and two bridges in Barber County were destroyed by the fire.

Fire officials in Barber County anticipated that the blaze would continue through March 25th and were hopeful that they could get better control of it over the subsequent days. The National Weather Service said 25 mph winds are forecast in the area until noon on the 25th, when they were expected to drop to 15 mph and then to 10 mph by sunset. Humidity levels were also expected to improve throughout the day, making progress on containment more likely. As of March 25, the cause of the fire was still under investigation.


Image of the Anderson Creek Fire courtesy of the Oklahoma Forestry Services


Brushfire consumes 2,500 acres on the island of Oahu

Oahu Brushfire Burns 2,500 acres

On Thursday, March 17th, Oahu Fire Department responded to reports of a brush fire near the community of Nanakuli. Arriving units reported a fast moving fire burning in light to medium fuels with limited access. The fire was driven by steep, inaccessible terrain and gusty winds. As of March 22, 2016, the fire was reported at 2,500 acres and 80% contained. No homes had been reported as damaged, though early on in the fire there were voluntary evacuations in place and some road closures.

For further information and updates, follow the story on KHON2.com.




Guadalupe Pass Fire active in Southern New Mexico

The Guadalupe Pass Fire started in the Penloncillo Mountains in the Coronado National Forest in New Mexico shortly after 5:30 am on March 2nd. As of March 4th, the fire had burned 5,100 acres and was 15% contained. The fire burned in grass and brush and is exhibited moderate fire behavior with winds around 15 mph, according to fire officials. The fire was determined to have been human-caused, but specific information pertaining to the ignition source was still under investigation with local Law Enforcement Agencies as of March 4th.

Approximately 120 firefighters were called to the scene and performed burn out operations on the south end of the mountains near Guadalupe Pass. Fire officials had expected to increase the percentage of containment over the initial several days, although acreage was expected to increase as burn out operations continued. The closest structures were three miles away to the North, Northeast, and West of the fire and were not threatened.




Guadalupe Fire Perimeter as of 3/4/2016 – Reported at 5,100 acres

Wildfires active in Oklahoma so far in 2016

 Two fire weather events early this year have Oklahoma leading the nation in wildfires to date with 226. Thirteen fires remain uncontained in the state as of March 1, even despite a recent decline in fire weather concern. 


 Active Fires in OK as of March 1st, 2016

Multiple red flag warnings were issued for the second time this month as another critical fire weather event took place over the weekend (27th and 28th of February). Fire officials were well prepared for another outbreak as just a week earlier (February 18-19), a number of large wildfires flared up across the state. To date this year there have been 226* wildfires across Oklahoma with the largest (Pharoah Fire) burning over 21,000 acres. The majority of the ignitions have been human-caused, resulting in quick-moving grass fires.  The map above highlights the 13 still-uncontained fires in the state. 

*Source NIFC.GOV