Monday, August 25, 2008

Red Flag warning

It could be an interesting day today in the fire world. Much of the western U.S. will be under a red flag warning today due to the passage of a cold front. Here is an example of a weather forecast for one of the areas, Cody, Wyoming near the Gunbarrel fire.
Southwest wind will increase to 15 to 20 mph with gusts to near 30 mph across Yellowstone National Park...the Absaroka mountains and Cody foothills this afternoon. These winds will combine with very warm temperatures in the 80s and minimum relative humidity of 10 to 15 percent below 8000 feet to produce extreme fire behavior with any new or existing fires. Winds will continue to increase tonight ahead of an approaching cold front with mountain top winds of 30 to 40 mph gusting near 50 mph. These strong winds will likely result in extensive spotting with any existing fires.
The Gunbarrel fire is expecting:
...the fire may move a few miles to the northeast. Structure protection is in place for residences. Firefighters expect to be busy defending homes in upper portions of the Jim Mountain, Jim Creek, and Big Creek areas; and cabins and lodges on the fire's west end in the general area of Libby Creek.

Aircraft use is planned in the morning, but strong winds are likely to ground both air tankers and helicopters by early afternoon.
The red areas on the map are for the Red Flag Warnings. The light beige areas are for a Hazardous Weather Outlook for strong winds. The darker brown areas are for Extreme Fire Danger.

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