In Central and Eastern Oregon, fire crews are preparing for a barrage of lightning that’s expected to last through Thursday.
Jean Nelson-Dean is a fire information officer with the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center.
She says fire managers are prepositioning crews throughout the region for quicker response times. Nelson-Dean says managers are also using software that can track individual lightning strikes.
“Basically from our lightning maps we can have a sense of where we need to patrol and see if there’s new starts,” said Nelson-Dean.
Dean says a number of 5 person hand crews are being brought in from the Eastern U.S. to help with what’s known as “initial attack”. Usually that’s the first 12 to 24 hours after a new fire.
Forecasters with the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center are predicting the storms could result in 3 to 9 new large starts — potentially doubling the number of large fires burning in the region.