Lowest Number of Wildfires in At Least 11 Years

Bill's Blog

The table above shows the number of wildfires from Jan. 1 – Sept. 6 for the last 10 year and this year. So far this year, we have had the lowest # of wildfires in the 11-year record. It’s also the third lowest number of acres burned in the 11-year record.

U.S. Precipitation Departure from Average for Jan. 1 – Sept. 7, 2019

The reason for the low number of wildfires this year is the abundant precipitation that has fallen over much of the country – especially east of the Rockies, in the Florida Peninsula and in California. The driest area has been western Washington (where they had strong thunderstorms overnight) and western Oregon. A significant part of the dry area from Georgia to North Carolina just got a good soaking from Dorian.

Seattle has had 17.22″ of rain (thru Sat. aftn. – they got rain overnight) and that was 3.65″ below average. By contrast, Grand Rapids Mi has had 30.47″ of precipitation so far in 2019 and that’s 4.8″ above average. So, Grand Rapids (and all of West Michigan) has been significantly wetter than Seattle this year.

Speaking of water…we did a story on how they are stopping building in a part of Ottawa Co. due to wells going dry. It must be from taking “too much” water from wells, because we’ve had plenty of rain this year. I wondered why they don’t take water out of Lake Michigan (which has more than enough water to spare right now, BTW). We pump water from the lake to Grand Rapids and Kent County thru Allendale. Could they either tap into a current water pipeline or build a new one? Much of the water taken out of Lake Michigan makes it back into the lake and the amount of water taken out is pretty insignificant (for 3 mostly rural townships) compared to the overall precipitation that the lake basin receives. Just wondering…

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