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Firefighters Gain Ally In Cooler, Wetter Weather


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

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.

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

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. 

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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