Firefighters Gain Ally In Cooler, Wetter Weather

Sep 11, 2018

Crews are steadily gaining on wildfires, thanks to cooler, damper weather settling in across the Pacific Northwest.

A helicopter flies over the Terwilliger Fire.
Credit Inciweb

For much of the summer, hot dry conditions fueled fires raging across the region.  Now overnight temps are dropping into the 50s and 40s, while rain and humidity are back on the rise.

Precipitation in the form of rain and humidity is making a comeback, after a long and dry summer.
Credit Oregon Sea Grant / Flickr.com

For incidents like the Terwilliger Fire burning 60 miles east of Eugene-Springfield, that’s helped suppression efforts. Crews had it barely contained in the first couple of weeks, but at last check it’s two-thirds contained.

“This summer was warmer and drier than typical, and we are just starting to see that break, finally,” says Eric Wise.  He's Fire Weather Meteorologist for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. 

Wise says fire intensity was up, while fuel moisture was down. He forecasts more wet weather patterns coming in from the Coast.

“And with each one of those, we get some scattered showers, and a little bit of embedded thunderstorm activity.”

On a more local level, Lane County has lifted fire restrictions in parks, though smoking and vaping remain prohibited. 

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