Forestry | Land | NW Life | Nation | Oregon

Lightning Forecasts Heighten Fire Danger In Central, Eastern Oregon

OPB | July 15, 2013 11:54 a.m. | Updated: July 15, 2013 12:56 p.m. | Bend, Oregon

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Fire managers are repositioning resources in advance of dry lightning storms that are expected to move into Central and Eastern Oregon Tuesday. 

Over the weekend, the National Weather Service issued a weather watch for Northeast Oregon and Southeast Washington calling for “abundant lightning” in those areas. 

At the same time, fire forecasters are predicting a 20 percent to 30 percent chance of large fires in Central and Eastern Oregon.

“The good news is we have a lot of resources,” said Jeree Mills, a spokeswoman for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.

“The rest of the country, as far as our shared resources around the country, they’re pretty much wrapping up most of the fires they have, too,” she said.

And Oregon fire managers now have more money to pay for those resources, as well. 

Last week, Governor Kitzhaber signed the Wildfire Protection Act. 

The legislation provides an additional $3 million for fire managers to attack new fires while they’re still small.  

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