The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) Predictive Services indicates that most of the United States is in for a quiet first part of the year with the exception of parts of Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. Homeowners in these areas need to pay special attention to their Firewise landscapes in preparation for this seasonal change.
NIFC Predictive Services Outlook January thru April 2012 Outlook
Todd Chlanda, one of NFPA’s Firewise Advisors recently visited the Minnesota. According to Todd the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials are really concerned about this current weather pattern with unseasonably low relative humidity and limited precipitation. One of the places Todd visited was Pine County located on the eastern side of the State; there he saw the cumulative effect of forest blow down events building up on the landscape over time. One of the more recent blown down areas is 60,000 acres that had experienced a previous blow down event several years earlier. According to Todd there are several communities in and around this area that are now exposed to high fire risk. The general consensus is that even if this eastern part of the state gets a normal snow fall this year, they will still be in for an extreme spring fire season. Larry Himanga, Wildfire Prevention Coordinator and his staff at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources realize this, and are taking all precautions now in preparation for the spring fire season.
Taken behind a residence where a home owner is trying to remove and clean – up some of the downed material. Notice the burn scar on the tree bole where the homeowner who was trying to reduce his risk by burning brush piles and it got out of control.