Drier Trends and Wildfire Outlook
We are all aware of the deadly wildfires across the Central and Southern Plains this past winter season. As we headed into summer and ultimately drier weather conditions our concern for more wildfires will be increasing over the next several months.
Fortunately, since the devastating fires this winter, precipitation dramatically increased in the same areas impacted by the fires.
The graphic below show current soil moisture conditions across the USA. The green areas highlight above normal soil moisture, white areas near normal and yellow/brown areas highlighting dry conditions. The Dakotas and Florida are the driest with many other areas of the nation experiencing above normal soil moisture conditions.
The increased precipitation over the past three months has resulted in a fairly optimistic fire outlook for June. A large part of the nation is showing below normal wildland fire potential with only Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, Hawaii and parts of California showing above normal potential for wildland fires in June.
For July, the outlook is similar with some improvement in Florida and Arizona. An increased potential for wildland fires may develop in Nevada and California.
For the remainder of the summer wildland fire season, the far west, including California will be a concern.