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2021's Wildfire Forecast Shows Steadily Rising Risk Level From May Into August

Oregon National Guard

The wildfire outlook for central Oregon and central Washington is generally low-risk for now.  But the fire danger will steadily escalate in the months ahead.

2021 begins with many areas in dry or drought conditions, and forestry crews have been busy gathering slash or conducting prescribed burns ahead of summer.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Ed Hiatt, near the Delta Campground site in the McKenzie River Corridor.

Ed Hiatt is Fire Management Officer for the BLM Northwest Oregon District.  He says using predictive data from interagency specialists, it appears the wildfire potential for the rest of May is low. However…

“Risk of large fire is expected to rise above typical in June, in central Oregon and central Washington. So basically areas to the east of the Cascades is gonna rise to above normal conditions or potential for a large fire. 

"In August, there is an increase west of the Cascades but mainly in southwest Oregon.” 

Potential hot spots include forests around Medford and Roseburg.

Copyright 2021, KLCC. 

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ 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 (22 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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