NIFC: Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook, June 2021

June 2, 2021 2:19 pm


Drought continues for much of the western U.S.


(National Interagency Fire Center)


National Interagency Fire Center

Deep snow cover persists in the eastern Northwest Territories and extreme northern Saskatchewan. In other regions, snow is either gone or roughly follows the mean snowmelt trend for this time of year. Most provinces, western Northwest Territories, and southwestern Yukon,outside the St.Elias Mountains,are snowfree. Temperatures in most of western Canada have been close to normal for the past month with a small pocket of below normal values around Great Slave Lake, and above normal temperatures through most of eastern Canada. Persistent Arctic air masses drifting into central Canada have prolonged dry conditions between eastern Alberta and northern Quebec with conditions especially dry in westcentral Saskatchewan. Although under the influence of Pacific air, southern British Columbia also remains drier than normal.

Warmer and drier than normal conditions continued across the West Coast and into the southwest United States (US)in April with warm and dry conditions also observed in New England. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah had their driest April March period in 126 years with California and Colorado having their third and fourth driest April March period, respectively. As such, snowpack is well below average across the Southwest, Utah, California, and portions of Nevada and Colorado with large expanses of severe to exceptional drought across these areas.

The southwest US through the Four Corners region is forecast to have above normal significant fire potential through June before the North American Monsoon arrives. Above normal significant fire potential will shift northward into the Intermountain West through July as moisture from the monsoon extends northward. Portions of the inland northwest US are likely to have above normal significant fire potential in June with the mountains and foothills of California increasing to above normal beginning in June as well.

Forest fire activity continues to be high and remains above 20172020 average in Mexico. The dry and warm conditions have generated significant fires across the Mexican Republic,while exacerbating drought across the country.The rainy season begins in May over central and western portions of Mexico before spreading northward in June, which will help reduce significant fire potential in these areas.However, significant fire potential is forecast to be above normal through June across northern and southeast portions of Mexico. Above normal potential will spread into northern Baja California by July. READ MORE