Well it's OFFICAL...Or as close to it as I feel possible. After rereading all the post on "Where's this years fire season going to be?"
I had to pick two individuals since their post were up first and their 'Gut' feelings were more than facts.
Back in March, FF SAM, and in April, P Bishop, were the first to predict Southern Idaho as a hot spot and California as another hot spot. They weren't far off. Northern Nevada and Northern California were the two main spots. Also in March, steese19, predicted Alaska as a hot spot. But when looking at the figuars of manpower, equipment, and suppression cost, I had to go with Nevada and California. Alaska is common to burn large areas of property and due to the remoteness of the area, they usually do not attempt to extinguish them. But just to keep it fair I'll send steese 19 something also.
I had to look a lot at the dates on the predictions and if they were predictions or facts or infromation on fires. Next year, which it is almost here, we may put a cut off date and not let it run through the fire season, that way they would be predictions. We may even try something different since fire seasons change in the different areas of the US. The hard part would be for areas east of the Rockie's which are not reported the same way the NIFC covers the west. May have to rely on the information provided by the different Geographic Area Coordination Centers of NIFC, of which there are 11, so don't forget to fill out send in your State Wildland Reports, that is if you have such a report. But, that contest hasn't started yet.

So this is the way this years, 99' HOT Spots was desided.

With some assistance from Janelle Smith of
NIFC External Affairs and information found on the Net, here's the way it went:

The Great Basin, and in particular northern Nevada, was one place the fire season was horrid. A low pressure system anchored itself off the northern California coast in early August, spinning enough moisture and atmospheric instability inland to generate a series of thunderstorms through much of the Great Basin.
Many of the storms were unaccompanied by moisture and large amounts of lightning and fanned by winds gusting to 50 miles an hour. The result was devastating, a firefighterís nightmare: in the Great Basin alone, more than 1.4 million acres were burned in less than a week. It was the worst fire season in the Great Basin in at least 35 years, wildland fire experts say (excerpt from the 1999 Fire Season Summary from
the NIFC web site. www.nifc.gov/fireinfo/1999/summary.html).

From August 24th to September 4, national response was at one of the highest levels possible. During this period, nearly all available firefighting personnel were pressed into service. In addition, eight military C-130 aircraft were deployed as Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems and worked to supplement the air tanker fleet in California.
Although activity was high in several states, wildland fires in California required a large percentage of the workforce during this time as these fires threatened communities and other vital resources.

Also, you can check out the fire season summary on our web site at www.nifc.gov/fireinfo/1999/summary.html
You can also see the top 10
largest fires for the season at this address.

It had been fun!
Now if all of you will have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season, I'll see you again next year.

BE EXTRA SAFE at what ever you do!
Hickman

[This message has been edited by Captain Hickman (edited December 03, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Captain Hickman (edited December 03, 1999).]