Since March we have been documenting the uncharacteristically large pool of fine fuel in the southwestern US owed primarily to monsoons that provided widespread and intense rainfall last summer and fall. The resultant standing dead fuel, plus what the Fuelcast system is projecting will occur in the 2022 growing season, has produced some of the richest fuelbeds in at least 20 years, often in excess of 3,500 pounds per acre of fine fuel. Two weeks ago, we were asked to provide some geospatial intelligence to the SW Predictive Service personnel to aid their situational awareness. As a result of our analysis we highlighted two areas in New Mexico that were on our watchlist, and we singled out just one of these as having a high probability of producing large wildfires and significant fire behavior. This area is now beleaguered by the McBride Fire. The other area we chose to put on our watchout list contains the Hermits Peak fire. Some might say, “We saw this coming”. To learn how we were able to select these watersheds out of a possible total of 52,000, take a brief moment to watch this special Edition of Reading the Tea Leaves.

Media Record Details

Apr 15, 2022
Matthew C. Reeves

Cataloging Information


NRFSN number: 25161
FRAMES RCS number: 66153
Record updated: December 20, 2022