The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch for western Oregon, warning of extreme fire danger early Monday through Wednesday afternoon.
It’s unusual for a watch to be issued this far in advance, but computer models suggest an offshore flow event unlike anything normally seen this time of year, according to the weather service. Strong, dry, winds gusting up to 40 mph are expected flow not only from the Columbia River Gorge toward the Portland metro area and out to the coast, but also could extend across the north Willamette Valley.
Forecasts call for northeast winds sustained at 10-20 mph. The wind, relative humidity as low as 10% to 15% and dry fuels cause critical fire danger.
The weather service advises extreme caution with any potential ignition sources, including lawn equipment, especially in grassy areas. Outdoor burning is not recommended throughout western Oregon.
Despite relatively cooler temperatures Friday and Saturday, extreme caution is urged with fire, as any fires that start this weekend could cause extreme danger when strong, dry east winds begin blowing Monday night and into Tuesday.