Wyoming’s 2021 Summer Fire Risk Is High
While it is good to see lots of snow and rain in south eastern Wyoming, right up into the middle of May, the central and most of all the north eastern sections of the state have not been doing well. They need a lot more wet than they have been getting.
Last year's fire season was bad enough. This year is not looking so good for some parts of the state.
“Around 2017 or 2018, we were looking to have a pretty active fire season, but we ended up getting a lot of rain into June and July, so the fire season was muted,” Wyoming state forestry manager Anthony Schultz told Cowboy State Daily. “It wasn’t something heavily predicted, so we weren’t really expecting it.”
Wyoming is not the only state. South Dakota, for example, has not gotten the moisture they need. A good section of this entire region is fire hazard dry.
That is not to say that what is happening is not "normal," it's just not welcome by humans.
Some years are wet, some are dry. It is a back and forth cycle that, for Wyoming, is mostly due to El Niño and La Niña.
According to NOA "El Niño and La Niña episodes typically last nine to 12 months, but some prolonged events may last for years. While their frequency can be quite irregular, El Niño and La Niña events occur on average every two to seven years. Typically, El Niño occurs more frequently than La Niña."
CURRENTLY, WYOMING IS A PATCHWORK OF WET AND DRY SPOTS.
Right now, half of Wyoming has more than enough water. But the central and eastern parts of the states face serious drought conditions.
Cheyenne-based meteorologist Don Day Jr. explains that this is a natural back and forth cycle and, currently, we are in the dry cycle. We will have another dry summer unless the pacific El Niño and La Niña flips.
Drought.gov gives a visual in a color-coded heat map. This site focuses on broad-scale conditions. Local conditions may vary.
For those who remember how smoky last summer was, this summer might just be a repeat.