Western wildfires calm down in cool weather, but losses grow | National News
An inversion layer, which is a cap of relatively warmer air over cooler air, trapped smoke over much of the fire Monday, and the shade helped lower temperatures and keep humidity up, incident meteorologist Julia Ruthford said.
Similar smoke conditions were expected through Tuesday. Monsoon moisture was streaming in over the region but only light showers were likely near the fire. A return to hotter, drier weather was expected later in the week.
The Dixie Fire, burning mostly on federal land, is among dozens of large blazes in the U.S.
With so many fires, officials have to prioritize federal resources, said Nickie Johnny, incident commander for the Dixie’s east section, crediting help from local governments and California’s firefighting agency.
“I just wanted to thank them for that because we are strapped federally with resources all over the nation,” she said.
Authorities also were hopeful that cool temperatures, increased humidity and isolated showers will help them make more progress against the nation’s largest wildfire, the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon. Crews have it more than halfway contained after it scorched 640 square miles (1,657 square kilometers) of remote land.
“The mild weather will have a short-term calming effect on the fire behavior. But due to the extremely dry conditions and fuels, as the week progresses and temperatures rise, aggressive fire behavior is likely to quickly rebound,” a situation report said Tuesday.