Chief Concern This Weekend Is Human-Caused Fires
The unseasonably warm weather this weekend, combined with a lack of rain and a prediction of gusty winds, has led to increased concerns over fire danger.
Colby Neuman is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland. He says the chief worry over the next few days will be human-caused fires that get out of control.
“We’re not expecting a wildfire to break out," he said. "It’s more just people burning piles of vegetation that can get into the grasses that are still dry, and that could lead to a fire that could burn into someone’s property and potentially cause issues.”
Most of the Willamette Valley is under a burn ban until at least Monday, including recreational fires.
And if you think it hasn’t rained much recently, it’s not your imagination. The National Weather Service says Eugene and Portland have had the driest March and first-half of April since at least 1950, and Neuman says there’s no rain in the forecast for at least another week.
But it's Oregon, so it's bound to rain at some point, right?
“Even in our typically driest Mays and Junes, we still end up getting some wet weather," agreed Neuman. "So we should hopefully get a good soaking at some point over the next month or two.”
In other words, don't put those umbrellas that you pretend not to own away just yet.