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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Paul A. Werth
Publication Date: 2017

Eyewitness accounts in journals and diaries have documented the relationship between weather and large wildland fire for over a hundred years. Even a hundred years ago, observers recognized short periods of up to several days in every fire season when wildland fuels were unusually susceptible to large fires, depending mainly on the weather. Show (1931) referred to these as 'dangerous periods.' However, not until the 1960s were critical fire weather patterns that produced high fire danger and large wildland fires identified for the United States and Canada. Syverson (1962) recorded the first definition of critical fire weather patterns as the 'critical day, week or month during which blow-up fires are experienced.' Current fire behavĀ­ior training courses define critical fire weather patterns as the atmospheric conditions that encourage extreme fire behavior, resulting in large and destructive wildland fires.

Citation: Werth, Paul A. 2017. Critical fire weather patterns. Fire Management Today 75(1):28-32.

Cataloging Information

Alaska    California    Eastern    Great Basin    Hawaii    Northern Rockies    Northwest    Rocky Mountain    Southern    Southwest    International    National
  • Canada
  • critical fire weather
  • drought
  • extreme fire behavior
  • RH - relative humidity
  • surface wind
  • unstable air
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 25261