Extreme Fire Behavior
Fire Danger Rating
The year 1999 marks the 50th anniversary of the Mann Gulch Fire that occurred in western Montana on August 5, 1949 (Matthews 1999). There has been considerable interest amongst the Canadian wildland fire community in the 1949 Mann Gulch Fire ever since the publishing of MacLean's (1992) book 'Young Men and Fire' and Rothermel's (1993) publication on the 'Mann Gulch Fire: A Race That Couldn't Be Won' which were soon followed by Canadian folk singer James Keelaghan's song 'Cold Missouri Waters' a year later. In order to supplement the usefulness of the Mann Gulch Fire as case study material in wildland fire training in Canada, the burning conditions and potential fire behavior have been examined in light of the two major subsystems of the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (CFFDRS) (Stocks et al. 1989, Alexander et al. 1996,) namely the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI) System (Canadian Forestry Service 1984; Van Wagner 1987) and the Canadian Forest Fire Behavior Prediction (FBP) System (Forestry Canada Fire Danger Group 1992; Taylor et al 1997).