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Flash Flood Watch Issued For Areas Affected By Holiday Farm Fire

Andy Nelson/ Register-Guard/pool

Chances of precipitation and thunderstorms could create additional hazards for the Holiday Farm Fire area. The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch early Thursday morning for areas east of Springfield, starting from 5 p.m. until 5 a.m. Friday morning. 

NWS Portland Meteorologist David Bishop said with the 80 to 90 percent chance of rain expected to arrive Thursday afternoon, or early evening, the NWS issued the advisory out of an "overabundance of caution."

“We don’t know what the ground situation is, or how the fire has impacted the soil," Bishop said, "We don’t know how it’s necessarily going to behave if it gets precipitation on it.”

There is also at least a 30 percent chance of a thunderstorms, but it’s unclear how severe it could be. Though Bishop suggests people remain vigilant and aware.

"I can't necessarily say which one is more hazardous per se. I don't want ot say that because both of these situations have the potential to be hazardous," he said

Despite the potential for hazardous conditions, rainfall could help with containing the Holiday Farm Fire that has burned an estimated 170,637 acres, as of Thusday afternoon. The fire is 10 percent contained.

"I can't say that it'll completely squash any of the fires, but it should provide a little bit of repreive," Bishop said.

Doug Grafe, chief fire protection officer for the Oregon Department of Forestry, agreed. He said the rains should help in the effort to contain multiple fires burning in western Oregon.

“A good portion of the moisture will be falling on the west slope of the Cascades," said Grafe. "And if I could script that out, that’s exactly where I’d be asking for it.”

You can find weather updates from the National Weather Service here.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.