AccuWeather’s 2023 US wildfire forecast: Impact on Property Risk Management

Fire Season Expectations

AccuWeather’s recently released a 2023 US Wildfire Forecast, which included data and analysis on 2023’s season. Forecasts expect this fire season to fall in line with average, with increased exposure in a few hot spots. [1]


Peak wildfire season should occur from August into September in Northern California; for those in Central and Southern California, they should expect a peak season of September to November. [2] During these time frames, “lightning from the North American monsoon can be a natural ignition source for fires, while the Santa Ana winds can fan the flames of ongoing blazes and cause them to evolve rapidly into massive wildfires.” [4] Something insurers will monitor is this wildfire season peak’s alignment with the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. [5]

“California saw one of the deepest snowpacks in state history, which will delay the onset of wildfire season, but AccuWeather warns that it will not prevent fires from starting.” [6]  One of the concerns this season is the total amount of combustible material, also known as fuel load. [7] “The recent precipitation will lead to ‘intense growth’ during the spring and first part of the summer, resulting in more fuel for fires that ignite later in the summer and into autumn.” [8] “The winter storms also blew down an abundance of branches, limbs and entire trees.” [9] As a result, California now experiences elevated fuel load levels.

Danger Zone: Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains

“The interior Northwest and the northern Rockies face a high risk of wildfires this year.” [10] This is a result of a winter “that was drier than the historical average.” [11] Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Northern California and northern Nevada will confront elevated exposure because “significant fires could break out as early as June or the first half of July.” [12] However, the “region’s peak of wildfire activity is not anticipated until late July into early September.” [13] Property owners and managers should practice an abundance of caution and ensure their insurance or risk transfer treatment is proper. For a review of your program, email

Danger Zone: Florida

“The Florida Peninsula is running drier-than-historical averages in 2023. These conditions can lead to brush fires this spring.” [14]

The Leader

“Alaska leads the country in wildfire activity, with 3.08 million acres burned in 2022, nearly twice the amount of land in Delaware.” [15]


Lada, B. (2023, April 12). AccuWeather’s 2023 US wildfire forecast. Retrieved from

Term of the week: Fuel load. (n.d.). Retrieved from,materials%20into%20the%20fire%20area).

[1]-[6]; [8]-[15]

Lada, B. (2023)


Fuel load.