Although Oregon has seen a less intense fire season than in previous years, forestry officials say there’s still a risk for the western part of the state as summer turns into fall.
As we move into September, the risk for wildfires in Oregon drops to normal levels, according to Blake Ellis, fire operations manager for the Oregon Department of Forestry.
“Normal risk for September in western Oregon is still very high for us,” Ellis said. “That’s when we’re going to see our east winds come over the mountains, drop the relative humidities, live woody fuel moistures are going to plummet. So, that’s really when western Oregon is going to be at the height of their fire danger.”
Parts of western Oregon are currently categorized as either abnormally dry or in a moderate drought.
The majority of the state is projected to have slightly above average temperatures for the month, Ellis said.
So far this year, there have been 12% fewer fires compared with last year, and almost 80% fewer total acres have burned.
The largest fire so far this year has been the Milepost 97 Fire near Canyonville, south of Roseburg. It burned more than 13,000 acres.