Environment | News | Local

Hot Weather Brings Central Oregon Fire Danger To 'Extreme' Level

OPB | July 19, 2013 3:01 p.m. | Bend, Oregon

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Continuing hot weather in Central Oregon has prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry to raise its fire danger level there to “extreme”.

The parts of the state with extreme fire potential now stretch from the Dalles down to Klamath Falls.  And from the Southern Cascades all the way out to John Day.

Lightning-caused range fire in Eastern Oregon.

Lightning-caused range fire in Eastern Oregon.

Michael Clapp / OPB

Central Oregon District Forester George Ponte says ODF sets its danger levels off of what’s called the National Fire Danger Rating System. 

The word “extreme” is used to describe not just the likelihood of a fire, but also other factors such as the potential energy output and speed at which a fire would spread. 

It’s a complicated formula but he says the takeaway for the general public is actually pretty simple. 

“Be extremely careful.  Without some change in the weather which is not anticipated, things are just going to get drier and the risk of fires starting and getting big quickly is just going to increase,” Ponte says.

Fire forecasters are predicting a new round of lightning storms could hit Central and Eastern Oregon by the middle of next week.

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