Red flag warning issued as Oregon faces a summer of extreme wildfire danger
A red flag warning has been issued for the Willamette Valley through Wednesday due to extreme heat, high winds, low relative humidity and unstable conditions. Fireworks could bring new ignitions that spread rapidly, officials said.
“Conditions may be favorable for rapid spread on any new or existing fires,” the National Weather Service in Portland wrote. “Extreme fire behavior is possible.”
Fire danger is already reaching high levels across all of the Northwest, as the 40-acre Moon Mountain Fire brings evacuation alerts in Eugene and the 533-acre Tunnel 5 Fire has burned at least 10 homes and brought evacuations on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.
Fire officials implored Oregonians to be careful with fireworks and stressed that they’re illegal on federal and state forestlands.
Fire danger extends into the summer
The high fire danger is unlikely to subside anytime soon.
All of northwest Oregon and much of Central Oregon moved into “above normal” fire danger for July while a majority of the state will be at above-normal risk for August.
The upgrades follow an extremely hot and dry late spring and early summer across the state, with long-term forecasts predicting more of the same for the rest of the summer and into autumn.
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