Significant fire potential is forecast to be above normal during the spring
Large fire activity was minimal in the West in January but scattered large fire activity continued in the Southern Area. A strong Santa Ana wind event affected southern California in mid-January with an increase of fire activity, but widespread and in many locations heavy precipitation reduced fire potential across southern California and the southwest United States (US) later in the month.
Wind-driven fire spread on the northern and central Plains resulted in several large fires in mid-January. Below normal precipitation was observed across much of the US in January. Above normal temperatures were also prevalent with the strongest anomalies on the northern Plains and across the Great Lakes into the Northeast. La Niña will continue to significantly affect the weather and climate patterns into spring.
Significant fire potential is forecast to be above normal during the spring across the Southwest and southern Plains due to background drought and forecast drier and warmer than normal conditions. An earlier than normal start to core fire season is also likely across southern Colorado and higher elevations in the southern Great Basin. Below normal fire activity is expected in portions of the Ohio Valley into the southeast US February through March with increasing significant fire potential in Florida by May. READ MORE