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  • 05/21/2015
  • Sullivan

Attached is a link to an abstract describing a theory that recently presented at a conference.  The presenter’s hypothesis is that South Canyon and Yarnell were not wind driven events, rather that they were caused by “uber-extreme fire behavior creating its own influencing forces”  Anyone have any thoughts?


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  1. Nick
    May 21, 2015 Reply

    I attended this conference and saw Ms. Nowicki’s presentation. I think her perspective is worthwhile in the sense of making sure we are communicating risk and confidence properly with our forecasts and knowledge of fire weather/behavior.

    Winds obviously affected both the Yarnell and South Canyon fires. To be more precise, wind interacting with topography during an ongoing fire with very dry, flashy, and continuous fuels drove each fire. To argue over whether it was ‘wind driven’ or not is a somewhat futile exercise.

  2. Fire Dog
    July 27, 2015 Reply

    I’m not sure about those events. I do however often notice, on both prescribed and wildfires, where fire intensities increase before winds, yet individuals often use the correlation to attribute wind as the cause. I have often walked back and forth across a hillside from the fires edge and go a couple hundred feet away to find that the “wind event” that we are feeling directly on the fireline isn’t present away from the fire. I feel that the compounding affect of fire intensity on wind is an area we could learn more about.

  3. Paul
    July 28, 2015 Reply

    I attended her presentation. It was a classic Liberal attempt to blame everyone but those responsible for the GMHS – themselves. The GMHS died as the result of bad decisions and many other related Human Factors. She had NO idea what she was talking about regarding the weather or fire behavior. She several times showed the photo of NWS meteorologist Chris Cuomo in tears because his cold front forecast was allegedly not broadcast to the WFF on the fireline. She told the meteorologists in the audience that this would be them if they weren’t certain about their Fire Weather Forecasts and WFF suffered because of it. Moreover, she did NOT allow her presentation to be recorded …

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