Oregon Wildfire Season Not As Bad As It Could Be
While a number of wildfires continue to burn across Oregon, state officials say they have not seen the mega-fires that were anticipated when the fire season started. Christie Shaw with the Oregon State Fire Marshal said because of a lack of massive wildfires, to date, they’ve been able to be proactive when it comes to fighting the current blazes and where they put personnel.
“This year definitely didn’t play out as the fire season we all thought it was going to, in March, when we start making all our fire season plans and we start planning for people to come on. Back in March we were - low snowpack, hadn’t seen moisture in forever and there were dire concerns about what fire season was going to be like."
Shaw added because of that, agencies staffed up early. But late rains pushed out the start of fire season, which typically starts after Memorial Day.
“In early June, we’re having team deployments and things like that. And we didn’t see that this year because we had all that moisture that kept coming through in May and June, where it was like cyclic rain. So then our concern - ‘oh, we’re going to have all these fuels out there, when fire season comes!’ And we do. But the thing that we haven’t seen play out is we haven’t had all those lightning storms come through."
While multiple lightning storms have moved across the state in recent weeks, Shaw says the storms have been much weaker than in typical years. But, Shaw was quick to point out that a lot of fire season remains for the region. Oregon’s fire season typically stretches into September.
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