Weather conditions on the Pole Creek Fire, near Sisters, are a little hotter and drier. That’s both good and bad.
Those conditions tend to make the atmosphere act like a chimney, pulling smoke off the ground. However, it can also mean stronger winds at ground level, pushing fresh oxygen to the fire.
Jon Bonk is a National Weather Service meteorologist, working at the fire command post in Sisters. He says even a slight increase in wind can be a big concern.
"Any type of wind under unstable conditions has the potential to lob some embers over the fire lines," Bonk says. "And so it’s still something they need to maintain. The fuel conditions over here are very dry, and there’s no relief for that in sight."
Bonk says conditions should stay the same for a few days. He’s watching a low-pressure system offshore that could come inland. If it travels far enough, it could bring lightning to Central Oregon.