Friday, April 29, 2016

NJ Camden County Wildfire contained



On Wednesday, April 27th, NJ Forest Fire Service Firefighters with the help of municipal firefighters contained a ninety-five acre wildfire in Winslow Township (Camden County) NJ. The Fire was near the Atlantic County border. Firefighters were aided in their containment efforts by Thunderstorms on Tuesday, April 26th.

For more information:


Thursday, April 28, 2016

16 Mile Fire (PA) and Sam's Point Fire (NY) -- Update #2

Yesterday (April 27th) I continued writing about the 16 Mile Fire (Pike and Monroe Counties, PA) and the Sam's Point Fire (near Ellenville,  Ulster County -- NY)
Prepared on April 27th from http://www.geomac.gov/viewer/viewer.shtml
Firefighters have made progress fighting both fires. As appropriate, I'll provide further updates on both both fires in this post.

April 28, 2016 (9:30 AM EDT)

Sam's Point Fire (Ulster County, NY)

According to News10 Albany NY (latest update on April 28th, 8:08 AM EDT) and the Recordonline (last update on April 27th 7:21 PM EDT), the fire has burned about 1,900 acres and is at 60 percent containment.

Sixteen Mile Fire (Pike and Monroe Counties, PA)

The Pocono Record (latest update on April 27th, 10:04 PM) reported on the community meeting in East Stroudsburg where officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Incident Commander talked about the progress firefighters had made fighting this fire. That is, as of the time of last night's community meeting (April 27th 7:30 PM EDT), the fire is at 80 percent containment. The community also learned about the history of the fire from the time it was first reported on April 20th and had a chance to ask questions.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Updates: 16 Mile Fire (PA) and Sam's Point Fire (NY)

April 27, 2016 at 2 PM

I'd like to begin by thanking the Smokey Bear Hotshot crew for coming east to help my wildland firefighter friends fight the Sixteen Mile Fire.




I prepared a map for you showing the locations of the two eastern wildfires that I have been writing about recently. I used the GeoMAC Wildland Fire Support website and used their launch viewer feature to prepare and than make a jpeg image mapping the two fires. I thought that some of you might want to see the location of these two wildfires (16 Mile Fire in  the Pocono Mountains in PA and the Sam's Point Fire near Ellenville -- Ulster County -- NY) that I wrote about yesterday (April 27th).

Prepared on April 27th from http://www.geomac.gov/viewer/viewer.shtml
Sam's Point Fire

According to an April 27th report (video, picture, and a map) on the Recordonline, the size of the fire is 1,574 acres and is at 35 percent containment. Perhaps this downsizing of the wildfire acreage burned is due to better mapping of the wildfire? In another post, there are three videos of firefighting operations that you might like to see, you may watch these Recordonline videos at this link. For some reason, these short videos took awhile to load, I hope you have better luck. Story and photo gallery from News10 -- Albany NY.

Sixteen Mile Fire

The Pocono Record is reporting in an April 27th article that the fire is at 60 percent containment. I have seen higher figures elsewhere but am reporting the lowest containment figure. The acreage burned remains at 8,030 acres as I write this and there do not appear to be any more structures that have been destroyed. The tally of destroyed structures remains at eleven. There will be a community meeting tonight hosted by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources tonight (April 27th) at the East Stroudsburg Highschool North Campus at 279 Timberwolf Drive.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sam's Point Fire, Ellenville (Ulster County, NY)



Direct link to video from Recordonline (Middletown NY)



The Sam's Point fire started on April 23rd and has burned approximately 2,000 acres to date. Rainfall has helped, but drier conditions are expected to return later Wednesday into Thursday. See this April 26th article from the Recordonline (photo gallery and video) for more information. I got the map that I embedded above, thanks to a special report from the Recordonline (with some of the same information that I linked to earlier).

Sixteen Mile Fire, Poconos PA: Update #1

Update: April 26, 2016 at 9:40 AM EDT (scroll down for later updates)



I wrote on April 25th about the Sixteen Mile Fire that started near Wilkinson Lake in Monroe County, PA last Wednesday (April 20th), and has burned south and east into Pike County, PA. The wildfire has burned over 7,800 acres and is at 35% containment as of the evening of April 25th. Investigators have determined that this fire along with a second fire which is now contained were intentionally set. In an update to their Facebook page, Pennsylvania Forests wrote late in the day on April 25th (go here to read the full post):
The fire is estimated to be at 35% containment, but low humidity, rugged terrain, combined with highly flammable fuel types will continue to be problematic factors in controlling the fire. The region may receive up to a half-inch of rain through Tuesday morning, so that precipitation may benefit firefighters somewhat. ... Fire investigators have determined that the now contained Bear Town fire, as well as the continuing Sixteen-Mile fire were intentionally set. The Bureau of Forestry is offering a $5,000.00 reward for information leading to the arrest of the individual(s) responsible for setting these fires. Anyone with confidential information can call 717-362-1472 or 570-895-4000. 
A public meeting is schedule for 7:30 PM on Wednesday April 27th at the East Stroudsburg North High School, see this Facebook post from Pennsylvania Forests for more information.

The Pocono Record (Howard Frank; April 25th) continues to report on the Sixteen Mile Fire with updates on the evacuation orders and wildland firefighters coming from around the U.S. to help. Residences under the April 24th evacuation order are seasonal homes with only one resident affected by the evacuation order who is being assisted by the local Red Cross. A hotshot crew from New Mexico, the Smokey Bear Hotshots team has been called in as well as a Type 2 Incident Management Team from Wisconsin.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the wildfire until Thursday, April 25th at 12:30 PM UTC, from the surface up to and including 5,000 ft AGL. As I write this information on the FAA TFR may be found here, when the TFR expires, the link will no longer work. The TFR is in place to allow for safe operations of firefighting aircraft (two SEATs and helos as well as any observation aircraft).

Some rain, under 1/2 an inch fell at the nearby Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport the night of April 24th/25th. I understand that some rain or showers with the possibility of thunderstorms are forecast over Pike and Monroe Counties (PA) today (April 25th). Any showers will help, but I don't know if it will be the type of rain that will help the wildland firefighters.

Update: April 26 at 4:50 PM EDT

According to the latest update from 69 WFMZ News (April 26th 2:35 PM EDT) the Sixteen Mile Fire has burned an estimated 8,030 acres and is currently at 40 percent containment. Eleven structures are reported to be destroyed including three seasonal homes, two cabins and six outbuildings, One person has been injured, no information is available.

There is a very short update (with photos) from the morning briefing to wildland firefighters on the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Facebook page that may be found here where DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn thanked all the firefighters (local and out of state) who are working to contain the wildfire.

The Pocono Record has a short article on the fire, written on April 26th ( by Kevin Kunzmann, last update at 3:25 PM EDT). Kunzmann spoke to Jim Hyland of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources about the efforts to contain the fire:
Two-thirds of the fire in its southern region has “good containment,” Hyland said, while its progressing blaze in the north has been the most difficult to contain. ...
The focus of work has been on creating containment lines, Hyland said, with plans to connect lines from east and west before burning out fields. Although rainfall Monday night was beneficial for the crews, the effect was minimal. 

... Hyland said the reason for slow development on containment is due to the DCNR's required assurance that an area is absolutely fire proof before confirming containment. 
Once it is 100 percent confirmed that the fire cannot cross a portion of the land, the area is considered contained (Despite rain, 16-Mile Fire still burns by Kevin Kunzmann, Pocono Record, April 26 2016; obtained on April 26, 2016 from http://www.poconorecord.com/news/20160426/despite-rain-16-mile-fire-still-burns)
Stay safe everyone!

April 26th at 9:26 PM

Bill Gabbert of Wildfire Today has posted an article on the Sixteen Mile Fire earlier this afternoon (April 26). Bill also has the Fire Aviation Blog. Earlier today (April 26th), Gabbert posted a nice photograph taken by one of the pilot of one of the SEATs working the Sixteen Mile Fire of a second SEAT also working the same fire. According to Gabbert, both SEATs are AT-802s operated by New Frontier Aviation.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sixteen Mile Fire, Wilkinson Lake, Poconos PA

The 5,600 acre Sixteen Mile Fire is burning near Wilkinson Lake in the vicinity of Cresco in the Pocono Mountains of PA (Monroe County/Pike County, PA), not far from the border with NJ and NY. The Sixteen Mile Fire, reported to be human caused, has been burning since last Wednesday (April 20th), is at 30 percent containment. Four residences have been destroyed, some are seasonal residences. Evacuations are in place. As I understand it, one of the communities under the evacuation order is near Pine Flats Rd. Aircraft have been making drops on the wildfire in support of wildfire crews on the ground.



News69 WFMZ, reported on the fire in an April 24th report, updated on April 25th  that you may read here (includes a video that I share below). According to a News Eagle report (April 23rd), "over the past three days aircraft have made 183 air drops totaling 62,550 gallons." There are reports of smoke from this fire as far east as Morris County NJ, see this report from the Parsippany NJ Patch.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

How SEATs are dispatched in NJ

Listen to Ed Carter, Chief Pilot of Downstown Aero Crop Services, talk to the Press of Atlantic City about how SEATs are dispatched to wildfires in New Jersey. Ed is located in southern New Jersey (NJ Forest Fire Service Division C).

What he describes applies across the State of New Jersey, and applies to helicopters and SEATs.



Direct link to video from the Press of Atlantic City

Friday, April 22, 2016

About NJ Fire Towers -- Mizpah Fire Tower

Ever wonder exactly what happens in a fire tower when the observer spots a fire or smoke? Well, watch this three minute from The Press of Atlantic City you will hear Mizpah Fire Observer Larry Birch III talk about his work as a Fire Observer and what happens after he spots a fire. It takes about three minutes to watch the video and is well worth it.

The Mizpah Fire Tower is located along Route 40 in Hamilton Township (Atlantic County) NJ.



direct link to video from the Press of Atlantic City

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Red Flag Warnings -- April 21st -- Portions of the Mid-Atlantic USA

Red Flag Warnings are in place this afternoon for portions of the Mid-Atlantic USA as shown in the screenshot that I am copying below. I took the screen shoot of these Red Flag Warnings from the National Weather Service Enhanced Data Display on April 21st at about 11:40 AM EDT.
Screen shot taken on 4/19/21 (11:40 AM EDT) from http://preview.weather.gov/edd/
The following National Weather Service Forecast Office issued Red Flag Warnings for the afternoon of April 21st:

  • NWS New York, NY
  • NWS Binghamton NY
  • NWS Mt. Holly NJ


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wildfire activity on April 19th in New Jersey

I spent much of the afternoon into the early evening listening to the online scanner for NJFFS Division B (central NJ), which also picks up some channels from northern New Jersey. I have been listening to such scanner feed, on an off, for a few years now and I am getting better at picking up what is going on. Still, I am no expert, so I expect that I missed things. Anyway, from what I heard there was a lot of activity going on, and I heard at least once instance of the Division B SEAT, Bravo 1 being launched and a couple of references to the Division A helo and bucket (Delta 6) in the air. I could be wrong, but I think that the NJ Forest Fire Service crews were able to contain or bring these (smaller?) wildfires under control in a reasonable amount of time. I did my usual scan of NJ and Philadelphia media and so no references to any media reports of any wildfire activity from the scanner feed that I was listening to.

What I did hear about in the early afternoon was two brush fires in the NJ Meadowlands in Hudson County, New Jersey. I believe but am not certain that Hudson County and adjoining areas of Bergen County (the Meadowlands extend north into Bergen County) are not in the New Jersey Forest Fire Service (NJFFS) Primary Response Area. At least I saw no reference to the NJFFS crews working these brush fires.

I am not certain of the total acreage burned so I am not going to report acreage here, but I am thinking that at least one hundred acres may have burned. Many years ago, I lived in one of the towns adjoining the NJ Meadowlands for several years so I am somewhat familiar with the geography and can personally attest to not infrequent brush fires in the Meadowlands. I also know that the Meadowlands can be difficult to access. The municipal firefighters in the towns abutting the Meadowlands are well versed in fighting these brush fires. A couple of hours to contain such a fire is not uncommon. And yes, as I can personally attest to, these brush fires can hamper visibility on nearby highways. Not to mention disrupt passenger train service on the lines (Amtrak and New Jersey Transit) that go through the Meadowlands into New York City.

Back to the brush fires. There were two separate brush fires that started early yesterday afternoon, one in Secaucus that started in the Meadowlands near exit 16E of the New Jersey Turnpike. And the second in Kearny near I-280 on Harrison Ave (which changes its name to the Newark Turnpike. I put together an image for you from Google Earth where I place to yellow pins in the approximate area where the two brushfires started.


It was a very smoky fire, thick black smoke. Amtrak and NJ Transit suspended train service for a time yesterday afternoon before resuming service in time for the evening rush (with delays). I'd like to commend all the municipal firefighters that responded to the brush fires for doing a great job in bringing these brush fires under control. On a day when all of New Jersey was under a Red Flag Warning, the results could have been a lot worse. I hope that these brush fires don't rekindle as we continue to experience an elevated risk for wildfires today and Red Flag Warnings tomorrow.

Here is a video report from ABC7 in New York aired during their early evening news hour on April 19th:


Here are some media links:



Elevated wildfire risk continues in portions of Mid-Atlantic, red flag warnings in southern New England

The risk for wildfires continues in portions of the Mid-Atlantic and New England this afternoon into this evening.

Here is a Hazardous Weather Outlook from NWS Mt. Holly for elevated wildfire risk the afternoon of April 20th and 21st. Updated on April 20th at 5:45 PM: Mt. Holly has issued a fire weather watch for portions of their forecast area for tomorrow afternoon (April 21st):

HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOUNT HOLLY NJ
1026 AM EDT WED APR 20 2016

DEZ001>003-MDZ008-012-015-019-020-NJZ001-007>010-012-013-015>023-027-
PAZ054-055-060>062-070-071-101>106-211430-
NEW CASTLE-KENT-INLAND SUSSEX-CECIL-KENT MD-QUEEN ANNES-TALBOT-
CAROLINE-SUSSEX-WARREN-MORRIS-HUNTERDON-SOMERSET-MIDDLESEX-
WESTERN MONMOUTH-MERCER-SALEM-GLOUCESTER-CAMDEN-
NORTHWESTERN BURLINGTON-OCEAN-CUMBERLAND-ATLANTIC-CAPE MAY-
SOUTHEASTERN BURLINGTON-CARBON-MONROE-BERKS-LEHIGH-NORTHAMPTON-
DELAWARE-PHILADELPHIA-WESTERN CHESTER-EASTERN CHESTER-
WESTERN MONTGOMERY-EASTERN MONTGOMERY-UPPER BUCKS-LOWER BUCKS-
1026 AM EDT WED APR 20 2016

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR CENTRAL DELAWARE...NORTHERN
DELAWARE...SOUTHERN DELAWARE...NORTHEAST MARYLAND...CENTRAL NEW
JERSEY...NORTHERN NEW JERSEY...NORTHWEST NEW JERSEY...SOUTHERN NEW
JERSEY...EAST CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA...NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA AND
SOUTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT.

THERE IS AN ELEVATED THREAT FOR THE SPREAD OF WILDFIRES TODAY,
ESPECIALLY EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA AND NEW JERSEY WHERE GUSTY NORTHERLY
WINDS AROUND 20 MPH WILL BE OCCURRING LATE THIS MORNING AND
MIDDAY. THOSE NORTHERLY WINDS SHOULD DIMINISH THIS AFTERNOON.
CAUTION IS ADVISED FOR ANY FIRE DEVELOPMENT IN EASTERN NEW JERSEY
WHERE A WIND SHIFT FROM NORTHERLY TO SOUTHEASTERLY SHOULD OCCUR
BETWEEN 1 PM AND 3 PM. THAT WIND SHIFT MAY PUSH ALL THE WAY WEST
TO INTERSTATE 95 BY 6 OR 7 PM THIS EVENING.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY.

THE COMBINATION OF INCREASINGLY GUSTY SOUTHWEST WINDS AND
DRY CONDITIONS WILL LEAD TO A GREATER THREAT FOR THE SPREAD
OF WILDFIRES ON THURSDAY, ESPECIALLY DURING THE AFTERNOON.
Not shown are Special Weather Statements for elevated wildfire danger for most of Maine and the portion of New Hampshire not covered by Red Flag Warnings. 

Red Flag Warnings from NWS New York, NY; NWS Tauton MA, NWS Gray ME and NWS Albany NY covering all of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island as well as portions of New Hampshire:

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW YORK NY
1154 AM EDT WED APR 20 2016

...CONDITIONS WILL BE FAVORABLE FOR RAPID BRUSH FIRE SPREAD
ACROSS SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT THROUGH THE AFTERNOON...

CTZ005>012-202200-
/O.CON.KOKX.FW.W.0002.000000T0000Z-160420T2200Z/
NORTHERN FAIRFIELD-NORTHERN NEW HAVEN-NORTHERN MIDDLESEX-
NORTHERN NEW LONDON-SOUTHERN FAIRFIELD-SOUTHERN NEW HAVEN-
SOUTHERN MIDDLESEX-SOUTHERN NEW LONDON-
1154 AM EDT WED APR 20 2016

...RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM EDT THIS EVENING...

* AFFECTED AREA...SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT.

* WINDS...NORTH 5 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH...SHIFTING
  SOUTH WITH GUSTS UP TO 15 TO 20 MPH BY LATE AFTERNOON.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY...AS LOW AS 15 PERCENT EARLY THIS
  AFTERNOON...RISING TO 25-30 PERCENT BY LATE AFTERNOON.

* TIMING...THROUGH THE AFTERNOON.

* IMPACTS...RAPID FIRE SPREAD IF IGNITION OCCURS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. A COMBINATION OF STRONG WINDS...LOW
RELATIVE HUMIDITY...AND DRY FUELS WILL CREATE A SIGNIFICANTLY
ELEVATED FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL.

&&

$$

FOR MORE INFORMATION FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PLEASE VISIT...
HTTP://WEATHER.GOV/NYC (ALL LOWER CASE)

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA
1101 AM EDT WED APR 20 2016

CTZ002>004-MAZ002>024-026-RIZ001>008-202200-
/O.CON.KBOX.FW.W.0003.000000T0000Z-160420T2200Z/
HARTFORD CT-TOLLAND CT-WINDHAM CT-WESTERN FRANKLIN MA-
EASTERN FRANKLIN MA-NORTHERN WORCESTER MA-CENTRAL MIDDLESEX MA-
WESTERN ESSEX MA-EASTERN ESSEX MA-WESTERN HAMPSHIRE MA-
WESTERN HAMPDEN MA-EASTERN HAMPSHIRE MA-EASTERN HAMPDEN MA-
SOUTHERN WORCESTER MA-WESTERN NORFOLK MA-SOUTHEAST MIDDLESEX MA-
SUFFOLK MA-EASTERN NORFOLK MA-NORTHERN BRISTOL MA-
WESTERN PLYMOUTH MA-EASTERN PLYMOUTH MA-SOUTHERN BRISTOL MA-
SOUTHERN PLYMOUTH MA-BARNSTABLE MA-DUKES MA-NANTUCKET MA-
NORTHERN MIDDLESEX MA-NORTHWEST PROVIDENCE RI-
SOUTHEAST PROVIDENCE RI-WESTERN KENT RI-EASTERN KENT RI-
BRISTOL RI-WASHINGTON RI-NEWPORT RI-BLOCK ISLAND RI-
1101 AM EDT WED APR 20 2016

...RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM EDT THIS EVENING
FOR GUSTY WINDS AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY VALUES...

* AFFECTED AREA...NORTHERN CONNECTICUT...ALL OF MASSACHUSETTS AND
  RHODE ISLAND.

* WINDS...NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS BETWEEN 20 AND 25 MPH. A
  FEW GUSTS UP TO 30 MPH ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE CAPE AND ISLANDS.
  STRONGEST OF THESE WINDS OCCUR THIS MORNING AND GRADUALLY
  DIMINISH FROM WEST TO EAST THIS AFTERNOON.

* TIMING...INTO EARLY THIS EVENING.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY...DROPPING TO BETWEEN 10 AND 25 PERCENT IN
  MOST LOCATIONS BUT VALUES WILL BE A BIT HIGHER ALONG THE
  IMMEDIATE COAST.

* IMPACTS...DRY WEATHER AND GUSTY WINDS WILL RESULT IN CRITICAL
  FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW...OR WILL SHORTLY.  ANY FIRES THAT START
MAY SPREAD RAPIDLY AND BECOME DIFFICULT TO EXTINGUISH.

&&

$$

FOR THE LATEST UPDATES...PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBPAGE AT
WWW.WEATHER.GOV/BOSTON

YOU CAN FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AT
WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/US.NATIONALWEATHERSERVICE.BOSTON.GOV

YOU CAN FOLLOW US ON TWITTER AT
@NWSBOSTON

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAY ME
1046 AM EDT WED APR 20 2016

...HIGH FIRE DANGER IN CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE...

.LACK OF RECENT RAINFALL IS KEEPING SURFACE FUELS DRY ACROSS MOST
OF NEW HAMPSHIRE. AFTERNOON TEMPERATURES TODAY WILL WARM INTO THE
50S TO LOWER 60S...RESULTING IN RELATIVE HUMIDITY VALUES DROPPING
BELOW 20 PERCENT. ALTHOUGH WINDS WILL BE DIMINISHING THROUGH THE
AFTERNOON HOURS...WINDS NEAR 10 MPH...VERY LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY
VALUES...AND DRY FUELS WILL CREATE CONDITIONS FOR RAPID AND
UNCONTROLLED FIRE GROWTH.

NHZ003>013-015-202300-
/O.CON.KGYX.FW.W.0004.160420T1500Z-160421T0000Z/
NORTHERN GRAFTON-NORTHERN CARROLL-SOUTHERN GRAFTON-
SOUTHERN CARROLL-SULLIVAN-MERRIMACK-BELKNAP-STRAFFORD-CHESHIRE-
EASTERN HILLSBOROUGH-INTERIOR ROCKINGHAM-
WESTERN AND CENTRAL HILLSBOROUGH-
1046 AM EDT WED APR 20 2016

...RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING
FOR CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS FOR CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN NEW
HAMPSHIRE...

* AFFECTED AREA...FIRE WEATHER ZONE 003 NORTHERN GRAFTON...FIRE
  WEATHER ZONE 004 NORTHERN CARROLL...FIRE WEATHER ZONE 005
  SOUTHERN GRAFTON...FIRE WEATHER ZONE 006 SOUTHERN CARROLL...
  FIRE WEATHER ZONE 007 SULLIVAN...FIRE WEATHER ZONE 008
  MERRIMACK...FIRE WEATHER ZONE 009 BELKNAP...FIRE WEATHER ZONE
  010 STRAFFORD...FIRE WEATHER ZONE 011 CHESHIRE...FIRE WEATHER
  ZONE 012 EASTERN HILLSBOROUGH...FIRE WEATHER ZONE 013 INTERIOR
  ROCKINGHAM AND FIRE WEATHER ZONE 015 WESTERN AND CENTRAL
  HILLSBOROUGH.

* WINDS...NORTHWEST 5 TO 10 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 MPH.

* TIMING...THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY...AS LOW AS 16 PERCENT.

* TEMPERATURES...IN THE MID 50S TO LOWER 60S.

* LIGHTNING...NONE EXPECTED.

* IMPACTS...FIRES MAY SPREAD RAPIDLY AND UNCONTROLLABLY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW...OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF
STRONG WINDS...LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY...AND WARM TEMPERATURES WILL
CREATE EXPLOSIVE FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL.

&&

$$

POHL

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBANY NY
337 AM EDT WED APR 20 2016

CTZ001-013-MAZ001-025-202200-
/O.UPG.KALY.FW.A.0002.160420T1600Z-160420T2300Z/
/O.NEW.KALY.FW.W.0002.160420T1400Z-160420T2200Z/
NORTHERN LITCHFIELD-SOUTHERN LITCHFIELD-NORTHERN BERKSHIRE-
SOUTHERN BERKSHIRE-
337 AM EDT WED APR 20 2016

...RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO 6 PM EDT
THIS EVENING FOR LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY VALUES...

AT THE REQUEST OF STATE FIRE OFFICIALS...THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE IN ALBANY HAS ISSUED A RED FLAG WARNING FOR WESTERN
MASSACHUSETTS AND NORTHWESTERN CONNECTICUT...WHICH IS IN EFFECT
FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO 6 PM EDT THIS EVENING. THE FIRE WEATHER
WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* AFFECTED AREA...WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS AND NORTHWESTERN CONNECTICUT.

* WINDS...NORTHWEST 5 TO 10 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 MPH.

* TIMING...LATE THIS MORNING THROUGH EARLY THIS EVENING.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY...AS LOW AS 20 PERCENT.

* TEMPERATURES...IN THE MID TO UPPER 50S.

* IMPACTS...THE COMBINATION OF DRY FUELS AND LOW RELATIVE
  HUMIDITY WILL MAKE FOR LOCALLY ELEVATED FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW....OR WILL SHORTLY. ANY FIRES THAT START
MAY SPREAD RAPIDLY AND BECOME DIFFICULT TO EXTINGUISH.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

About Red Flag Warnings from NWS Mt. Holly NJ

I just saw this nice graphic from my friends at NWS Mt. Holly NJ, they shared this graphic on their Facebook page.

Red Flag Warnings -- April 19th -- portions of Mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S.A.

I wrote on April 18th about Fire Weather Watches that were issued by a number of National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices for their forecast areas. The Fire Weather Watches issued on April 18, 2016 have been cancelled and Red Flag Warnings have been issued. I took a screen shot of Red Flag Warnings from the National Weather Service Enhanced Data Display (a map based graphics display, fire weather is under more layers on the left). Here is what I hope is permanent link to the screen shot that I am sharing below.

Screen shot taken on 4/19/16 (8:40 AM EDT) of fire wx warnings from http://preview.weather.gov/edd/
The following National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices issued Red Flag Warnings for the afternoon into the evening on April 19, 2016:
  • NWS Mt. Holly NJ
  • NWS Baltimore MD/Washington DC
  • NWS State College PA
  • NWS Binghamton NY
  • NWS Albany NY
  • NWS Tauton MA (Boston)
  • NWS Gray ME
This is current at the time that I made this post at 9:05 AM on April 19th.

Here is the Red Flag Warning issued by NWS Mt. Holly NJ for their forecast area (southeastern PA, DE, eastern shore of MD, and all of NJ except the five northeastern counties):

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOUNT HOLLY NJ
300 AM EDT TUE APR 19 2016


DEZ001>004-MDZ008-012-015-019-020-NJZ001-007>010-012>027-PAZ054-
055-060>062-070-071-101>106-192000-
/O.UPG.KPHI.FW.A.0001.160419T1600Z-160420T0000Z/
/O.NEW.KPHI.FW.W.0002.160419T1600Z-160420T0000Z/
NEW CASTLE-KENT-INLAND SUSSEX-DELAWARE BEACHES-CECIL-KENT MD-
QUEEN ANNES-TALBOT-CAROLINE-SUSSEX-WARREN-MORRIS-HUNTERDON-
SOMERSET-MIDDLESEX-WESTERN MONMOUTH-EASTERN MONMOUTH-MERCER-SALEM-
GLOUCESTER-CAMDEN-NORTHWESTERN BURLINGTON-OCEAN-CUMBERLAND-
ATLANTIC-CAPE MAY-ATLANTIC COASTAL CAPE MAY-COASTAL ATLANTIC-
COASTAL OCEAN-SOUTHEASTERN BURLINGTON-CARBON-MONROE-BERKS-LEHIGH-
NORTHAMPTON-DELAWARE-PHILADELPHIA-WESTERN CHESTER-EASTERN CHESTER-
WESTERN MONTGOMERY-EASTERN MONTGOMERY-UPPER BUCKS-LOWER BUCKS-
300 AM EDT TUE APR 19 2016

...RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 8 PM EDT THIS
EVENING FOR LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITIES AND WINDY CONDITIONS...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MOUNT HOLLY HAS ISSUED A RED FLAG
WARNING FOR LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITIES AND WINDY CONDITIONS...WHICH
IS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING. THE FIRE
WEATHER WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* AFFECTED AREA...NEW JERSEY...EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA...DELAWARE...
   AND THE EASTERN SHORE OF MARYLAND.

* WINDS...NORTHERLY 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 30 MPH.

* TIMING...CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO
  DEVELOP BY MID DAY AND CONTINUE THROUGH SUNSET.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY...AS LOW AS 25 PERCENT.

* TEMPERATURES...IN THE UPPER 60S.

* IMPACTS...ANY FIRES THAT DEVELOP MAY QUICKLY GET OUT OF
  CONTROL AND BECOME DIFFICULT TO CONTAIN.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW....OR WILL SHORTLY DUE TO A COMBINATION
OF STRONG WINDS...LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY...AND DRY FUELS. ANY
FIRES THAT DEVELOP MAY QUICKLY GET OUT OF CONTROL AND BECOME
DIFFICULT TO CONTAIN.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT WILDFIRE DANGER...BURN
RESTRICTIONS...AND WILDFIRE PREVENTION AND EDUCATION...PLEASE
VISIT YOUR STATE FORESTRY OR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION WEBSITE.

Monday, April 18, 2016

SPC -- Elevated Fire Weather Outlook for April 19th -- portions of Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern USA

Updated and revised at 5:30 PM on April 18th

The NWS Storm Prediction Center issued their daily fire weather outlooks earlier today. I am interested in their day two outlook (April 19th). In this case, day two is April 19th. As you can see from the map below, portions of the mid-atlantic and the northeast, including New Jersey are under an elevated fire weather outlook. Recall that I wrote three articles on SPC Fire Weather outlooks here (with links to all articles in the series). The NWS Storm Prediction updates their Fire Weather Outlook page daily.

NWS Storm Prediction Center's Day 2 Fire Weather Outlook, issued on April 18, 2016 for April 19, 2016

Here is the text issued by the SPC that goes with the map above.:

ZCZC SPCFWDDY2 ALL
   FNUS22 KWNS 181709

   DAY 2 FIRE WEATHER OUTLOOK  
   NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   1209 PM CDT MON APR 18 2016

   VALID 191200Z - 201200Z

   AN ELEVATED FIRE-WEATHER AREA IS INTRODUCED FOR PORTIONS OF THE
   MID-ATLANTIC AND NEW ENGLAND...WHERE GUSTY NORTHWESTERLY WINDS
   BEHIND A COLD FRONT WILL COMBINE WITH MODESTLY REDUCED RH VALUES AND
   QUITE DRY FINE FUELS. ALTHOUGH GUIDANCE STILL INDICATES ONLY
   MARGINAL LOW-LEVEL DRYING...DIURNAL MIXING AMIDST A CONSIDERABLY DRY
   AIR MASS /PW VALUES AROUND 0.2-0.4 INCHES/ SHOULD BE SUFFICIENT FOR
   RH VALUES BELOW 30-35 PERCENT. IN COMBINATION WITH SUSTAINED NWLY
   WINDS AROUND 15-25 MPH...THESE DRY CONDITIONS WILL RESULT IN
   ELEVATED/LOCALLY CRITICAL FIRE-WEATHER CONCERNS.

   ..PICCA.. 04/18/2016

   .PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 0230 AM CDT MON APR 18 2016/

   ...SYNOPSIS...
   UPPER LOW THAT REMAINED QUASI-STATIONARY OVER THE WEEKEND IS
   EXPECTED TO BEGIN MOVING SLOWLY EWD ON TUESDAY...LIKELY REACHING
   CNTRL NEB BY 12Z WED. SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE WILL REMAIN IN PLACE E
   OF MS RIVER...CONTRIBUTING TO ANOTHER WARM AND DRY DAY ACROSS MUCH
   OF THE ERN CONUS. 

   SUSTAINED NWLY WINDS AROUND 20 MPH ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE NORTHEAST
   STATES. HOWEVER...TEMPERATURES WILL BE SLIGHTLY COOLER AND RH VALUES
   SLIGHTLY HIGHER IN THIS REGION THAN ON SUNDAY OR MONDAY...MITIGATING
   THE FIRE WEATHER POTENTIAL. FARTHER S /MID-ATLANTIC INTO THE
   SOUTHEAST/...MIN RH VALUES FROM 20 TO 25 PERCENT ARE ANTICIPATED BUT
   WEAK WINDS WILL KEEP THE FIRE WEATHER THREAT LOW. IN ALL...THE FIRE
   WEATHER THREAT IS EXPECTED TO BE LOW ACROSS THE CONUS ON TUESDAY.

All areas mapped out in the SPC Day 2 (April 19, 2016) Fire Outlook Map (see above) as being under an elevated fire weather outlook  are now under a fire weather watch issued by their local National Weather Service Forecast Office, see the map below. If you are interested in fire information for your state or region -- fire weather watches or red flag warnings issued by your local National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office -- one starting point is the NWS Fire Weather Page (information updated at least once a day). The image below is a static file (updated frequently) from the National Weather Service (fire weather watches are in yellow). You can get the same information by going to the National Weather Service and clicking on the area you are interested in. You will then get the website for the local NWS Weather Forecasting Office providing forecasts for the area of a State that you are interested in, then look around for local fire weather information.
obtained on April 18, 2016 (5 PM EDT) from from http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ridge2/fire/briefing.php 

Here is  the fire weather watch issued by my NWS Forecast Office in Mt. Holly NJ.  

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOUNT HOLLY NJ
200 PM EDT MON APR 18 2016

DEZ001>004-MDZ008-012-015-019-020-NJZ001-007>010-012>027-PAZ054-
055-060>062-070-071-101>106-191000-
/O.NEW.KPHI.FW.A.0001.160419T1600Z-160420T0000Z/
NEW CASTLE-KENT-INLAND SUSSEX-DELAWARE BEACHES-CECIL-KENT MD-
QUEEN ANNES-TALBOT-CAROLINE-SUSSEX-WARREN-MORRIS-HUNTERDON-
SOMERSET-MIDDLESEX-WESTERN MONMOUTH-EASTERN MONMOUTH-MERCER-SALEM-
GLOUCESTER-CAMDEN-NORTHWESTERN BURLINGTON-OCEAN-CUMBERLAND-
ATLANTIC-CAPE MAY-ATLANTIC COASTAL CAPE MAY-COASTAL ATLANTIC-
COASTAL OCEAN-SOUTHEASTERN BURLINGTON-CARBON-MONROE-BERKS-LEHIGH-
NORTHAMPTON-DELAWARE-PHILADELPHIA-WESTERN CHESTER-EASTERN CHESTER-
WESTERN MONTGOMERY-EASTERN MONTGOMERY-UPPER BUCKS-LOWER BUCKS-
200 PM EDT MON APR 18 2016

...FIRE WEATHER WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH
TUESDAY EVENING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MOUNT HOLLY HAS ISSUED A FIRE
WEATHER WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH
TUESDAY EVENING.

* AFFECTED AREA...NEW JERSEY...EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA...DELAWARE...
  AND THE EASTERN SHORE OF MARYLAND.

* WINDS...NORTHWEST 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS 20 TO 25 MPH.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY...25 TO 30 PERCENT.

* IMPACTS...ANY FIRES THAT DEVELOP MAY QUICKLY GET OUT OF CONTROL
  AND BECOME DIFFICULT TO CONTAIN.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FIRE WEATHER WATCH MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE FORECAST TO OCCUR DUE TO A COMBINATION OF STRONG WINDS...LOW
RELATIVE HUMIDITIES...AND DRY FUELS. LISTEN FOR LATER FORECASTS
AND POSSIBLE RED FLAG WARNINGS.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT WILDFIRE DANGER...BURN
RESTRICTIONS...AND WILDFIRE PREVENTION AND EDUCATION...PLEASE
VISIT YOUR STATE FORESTRY OR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION WEBSITE.

Wildfire activity in New Jersey: April 16th to 18th

Last Friday (April 15th) I wrote about the Raritan Arsenal fire, a 30 acre marsh fire that burned in Edison NJ on April 15th. There has been more wildfire activity in New Jersey over the weekend, here is what I know about. I am sure that there has been other wildfire activity that I do not know about.

  • Phillips Bog Wildfire, Shamong Twshp, Wharton State Forest, Burlington County. The fire is burning near Quaker Bridge Road approximately two miles east of the Atsion Ranger Station. NJFFS Section B1 is working the fire.According to the latest update (6:30 PM on April 17th) from my friends at the B10 NJ Wildland Fire Page, the wildfire has burned 133 acres. Tankers Bravo 1 and Charlie 1 and Helo Delta 7 with bucket worked this fire and it is 75 percent contained. There are no structures in the area. Report from the Press of Atlantic City with a video (Delta 7 dipping). From my friends at Downstown Aero Crop Services: FB post reporting that Charlie 1 made 10 drops on the fire and a second post of a slow motion video of Charlie 1 dropping (about 30 seconds in).
  • On April 16th, NJFFS Section A2 contained a 60 acre wildfire, Ramapo Reservation in Mahwah, Bergen County.  Helo Delta 5 with a bucket made several drops on the fire (reported by B10 NJ Wildland Fire Page. Here is a FB post from NJFFS Section A2 with some more information, they report that mop-up work continued on April 17th with burning snags within containment lines, numerous spot fires and long flame lengths.
  • Finally, my friends at the B10 NJ Wildland Fire Page reported on April 18th at 8:30 AM that NJFFS Section B8 crews have contained the 10-acre (after burnout) Manasquan River WMA wildfire. The wildfire was located off of Sally Ike Rd. behind the Silvi Concrete Plant in Brick Twshp (Ocean County). Asbury Park Press article.
Thanks to all NJ Forest Fire Service wildland firefighters, mutual aid firefighters, contract SEATs, and NJFFS helos with buckets for keeping us safe.

Fire weather watches in place for portions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern USA, including New Jersey for the afternoon of April 19th, I just posted an article on this here.

Note: The B10 NJ Wildland Fire Page) has a section on their main page (about 1/3rd of the way down the main page on current NJ wildfire activity. This section is updated frequently, what you see may be different.