Nassau County fire; That escalated quickly!

Much slower tracking index and is an indicator of fire sustainability.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As of 10 pm, Thursday evening, the fire west of Bryceville had proliferated, covering 600 acres within 8 hours. This is quite the ramp-up. Yet, when looking at the typical fire parameters, winds, and dryness, both in the soil and on the surface, it shows that conditions were relatively benign.

The one outlier? Last Christmas’ freeze.

Two important aspects of wildfire: Ignition ability and sustainability.

Ignition ability includes atmospheric conditions, such as sunshine, surface winds, afternoon relative humidity, surface fuels, and relative dryness. Sustainability includes recent rainfall, or has there been a more extended term of dryness? Is the soil beneath those loose surfaceBeach fuels wet, damp, or dry?

The two charts I watch closely are the Florida Fire Index and the KBDI.

Neither shows exceptionally high fire danger. See pictures; high or severe fire conditions would be deep red and purple regions. Blue areas are relatively wet areas. Here in Jacksonville, we have had recent rains in blue to light yellow.

So why did the fire proliferate?

My initial guess is that those frigid/deep freezing days last Christmas killed a lot of vegetation. Those dead plants are now excessive surface fuels, which may have allowed Thursday’s fire to spread quickly.

Just my guess, we will hear from Florida Forestry Service soon.

Much slower tracking index and is an indicator of fire sustainability.