The 2023 fire season is predicted to be relatively  consistent with historical averages, with a slight  increase in intensity, according to AccuWeather’s  recently released 2023 US Wildfire Forecast

Between 60,000 to 75,000 wildfires are expected to  occur, potentially burning 6.5 million to 8.25 million  acres of land. These figures align with the average of  

68,707 fires and 7,000,514 acres burned annually  between 2001 and 2020. 

Because nearly 90% of wildfires are caused by  humans, predicting the number of acres that may be  affected by widespread fires is difficult.  

Read on to learn more about regional wildfire  forecasts, as predicted by AccuWeather  meteorologists.  

California Wildfire Season May Be Delayed After a winter filled with rain and snowstorms,  California has become the center of attention. The  state experienced numerous bomb cyclones and  atmospheric rivers, creating a record-breaking  snowpack. Although this will push back the start of  wildfire season, it will not entirely prevent the  outbreak of fires. 

High precipitation leads to robust spring growth,  which can fuel summer and autumn fires. Severe  winter storms that brought down decaying trees and  branches will also add to available dried fuel.  

California wildfire threat projections are low from  April to June. As temperatures rise and conditions  become drier, the danger of fires is expected to  escalate in July and August. 

In Northern California, the peak of the wildfire season  is expected from August to September, whereas in  Central and Southern California, the most significant  threats may occur from September to November,  when the critical factors for destructive fires will  converge. Lightning strikes due to the North  American monsoon can serve as a natural ignition  source. The Santa Ana winds, which were absent in  most of 2022, can cause wildfire flames to spread  rapidly. 

Notably, the peak of the wildfire season will coincide  with the height of the Atlantic hurricane season. 

Wildfire Season in the Four Corner States  Delayed 

The winter weather pattern that brought storms to  California also resulted in substantial rainfall and  snowfall in Nevada and the Four Corner states.  

This abundance of moisture may delay the onset of  wildfires during the spring, but the risk will gradually  rise throughout the summer and into the fall. 

Northwestern Areas Face Heightened Early  Summer Wildfire Risk  

The interior Northwest and northern Rockies may  experience heat waves alongside the heightened risk  of wildfires during the next few months. 

This article is intended for informational purposes only. © 2023 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved. 

Dry periods can result in hot weather, as evaporation  rates increase and fuels dry out, creating ideal fire  conditions. Significant fires have hit the Pacific  Northwest hard in recent years, with the Almeda Fire  in southern Oregon destroying 2,357 homes in 2020. 

Higher Risk of Florida Brush Fires 

Due to dry conditions, an elevated risk of brush fires  is predicted in Florida, particularly in late spring.  

The threat of fires may subside in early summer as  thunderstorms increase, and there may be an early season tropical system that brings rain to Florida. 

Alaska May Have Fewer-Than-Average Burned  Acres In 2023 

Outside of the western United States, Alaska leads  the nation in wildfire activity, with 3.08 million acres  burned in 2022, nearly twice the area of Delaware. 

While the wildfire-burned acreage in Alaska could be  lower in 2023, the numbers may still be substantial.  Although most of the fires occur in remote areas, the  smoke from these fires can cover the North American  sky. 

Wildfires May Have Far-Reaching Effects Vast smoke plumes from fires in Alaska, British  Columbia, and the western United States can affect  the East Coast, causing a murky sky, a rise in air  pollution, and, in severe situations, the odor of  smoke, impacting millions of individuals living in the  area. 

During September 2020, an unprecedented  convergence of a historic wildfire season and an  extraordinarily active Atlantic hurricane season  spread wildfire smoke across the nation. 

Major cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburgh,  Washington, D.C., and New York City experienced  hazy skies due to the smoke. Meanwhile, Hurricane  Sally struck the Gulf Coast as a Category 2. 

During the same month, smoke from fires in  California and Oregon was detected as far as Europe. 

What’s Next? 

Contact Taggart Insurance today to review your  insurance coverage and learn more about wildfire  insurance solutions and preparedness.