US National Interagency Fire Center Wildfire Update Released for October 3, 2022

The US National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) reported on Monday (10-3-22) that the total number of large wildfires and complexes currently burning in the US dropped from 89 last Monday to 72, with more than 766,553 acres across 7 different states currently burning. One new wildfire has been reported within the past 24 hours. There are now more than 4,800 wildland fire personnel assigned to these incidents across the US.

The NIFC has lowered the National Fire Preparedness Level to a Level 2 out of a possible 5, as the wildfire season hopefully begins to wind down.

Most of the wildfire activity is now located in the state of Idaho, where there are currently 31 wildfires burning. Elsewhere, there are 22 wildfires burning in Montana, 11 wildfires in Washington State, 5 wildfires in Oregon, and 1 wildfire each in California, South Dakota, and Texas. Of the 72 wildfires currently burning, only 1 has been partially contained.

The current number of wildfires continues to remain well in excess of the 2021 level, which up until now held the record high level, and is more than double the 10-year average. The updated comparison is as follows:

  • From 1/1/22 through 10/3/22, 54,184 wildfires have been reported and they have burned 6,924,968 acres.
  • From 1/1/21 through 10/3/21, 46,544 wildfires had been reported and they had burned 5,945,809 acres.
  • The 10-year average (2012–2021) for the same period is 45,830 wildfires having consumed 6,401,534 acres.

NIFC meteorologists continue to report that conditions remain favorable for additional wildfires outbreaks. South-southeast sustained winds of 12-20 mph gusting 20-30 mph amid minimum relative humidity of 15-30% is forecast across the southern and central Plains into portions of southeast South Dakota and southwest Minnesota likely resulting in locally elevated conditions. Continued low relative humidity of 15-35% is expected across eastern Oklahoma, central and east Texas, and into portions of the Ozarks, Lower Mississippi Valley, and central Gulf Coast, with occasionally gusty northerly to easterly winds. Warm and dry conditions will also extend from California and the western Great Basin into portions of the Pacific Northwest. Isolated to scattered thunderstorms are likely from the Southwest through the greater Four Corners region onto the central High Plains and northern Plains ahead of a cold front. Scattered showers are likely across portions of eastern Montana into northern Wyoming and the western Dakotas. Rain will continue across portions of the Mid-Atlantic, especially along the coasts of Virginia, Delaware, and New Jersey.

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