Summer seems to have finally arrived in the Northwest, and the clear skies and warm temperatures mean a greater threat of fires.
Rod Nichols, the public information officer for the Oregon Department of Forestry, said the damp, extended spring weather created a large supply of fuel that could feed a forest fire.
"It's natural to think that after all this rain and cool weather that there is not any danger out there and every thing looks green, but actually we could have fires this time of year," Nichols said.
Thunderstorms are a strong indicator of fire danger. Lightning strikes often start multiple fires at once. That can easily overwhelm firefighting teams. Right now, the long-range forecast suggests that thunderstorms will be late this year, arriving in August or September.
Yet, two thirds of fires are started by people. Nichols says the best way to prevent fires is to be careful with anything that could spark a blaze, no matter what the weather.