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Land | Forestry | Ecotrope

Wildfires: People outpace lightning by far (on state land)

Just got an update on forest fires from Oregon Department of Forestry. There’s a lot to talk about on this front lately.

There’s a new fire that broke out yesterday near John Day, 8 miles west of Mount Vernon. ODF reports the fire was pushed by high winds near 20 structures, and one building was destroyed. Other fires, at Crater Lake, Mount Hood National Forest, Scott Mountain, Warm Springs and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest are still burning. (The Scott Mountain fire is now 2,559 acres and only 5 percent contained.)

At the bottom of the report, though, I noticed some surprising stats on what’s caused how many fires on Oregon state forestlands so far this year:

From January 1, 2010, through today:

Lightning-caused fires:  176 fires burned approximately 726 acres

Human-caused fires:  333 fires burned approximately 4,936 acres

Total:  509 fires have burned approximately 5,662 acres

10-year average (January 1 through the present date in the year):

Lightning-caused fires:  269 fires burned approximately 20,456 acres

Human-caused fires:  531 fires burned approximately 4,448 acres

Total:  806 fires burned approximately 24,904 acres

I wonder what these stats look like on federal lands…


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