Relief is on the way for much of Oregon as it’s on track to emerge from the hot, hazy weather that has blanketed the region for five days.
The National Weather Service reports that the Portland area can expect to see temperatures reach the low 90s Sunday before a cooldown period begins overnight Sunday into Monday.
In Central Oregon, Bend remains in a heat advisory with temperatures expected to reach 98 degrees Sunday with widespread haze. Cooler weather will arrive Monday with temperatures in the high 80s and into the 70s by midweek.
The break in hot weather for much of the region is a welcome relief for firefighters trying to manage intense blazes around the state. The U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Region said Sunday morning that the Bootleg Fire in Klamath and Lake counties, once the nation’s largest wildfire at 413,000 acres, is now 100% contained.
We’re thrilled to announce that three large wildfires—including the Bootleg fire which burned across 413,000 acres for 39 days—are 100% contained as of this morning. Huge thanks to our dedicated & incredibly skilled fire personnel for this great accomplishment. pic.twitter.com/l8RvWQGraL— Forest Service NW (@ForestServiceNW) August 15, 2021
That fire was sparked by lightning and had been burning for 39 days.
While fire officials are encouraged by cooler weather, humidity and east winds that will improve visibility and air quality in smoky areas, they remain concerned for the risk of wildfire in Central Oregon where fire weather will persist into Monday.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act late last week in response to the Middle Fork Complex that is burning in Lane County, which is burning about 8,940 acres in the Willamette National Forest. It has forced road closures and prompted evacuation notices for some residents. It is only 7% contained.
“As we are in the middle of another very challenging fire season, now is a good time for Oregonians to make a preparedness plan and get 2 Weeks Ready,” said Gov. Brown in a news release.
“A good first step is to sign up to receive emergency notifications by visiting oralert.gov. I encourage all Oregonians to understand wildfire risks, pay attention to fire restrictions, and be sure to check in with friends and family members who may need help to get disaster prepared.”