© 2023 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Oregon's Willamette Valley seen from Eugene
NPR for Oregonians
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Predictions for 2017 Wildfire Season? It Could Go Either Way

Central Oregon Fire Info

Heavy rainfall this spring helped boost Oregon's snowpack after several years of below-average levels. Depending on how wet or dry the rest of the spring turns out, the 2017 wildfire season could be less dramatic than in previous years.


Oregon's 12 water basins are all measuring above their 30-year median for how much water is present in snowpack based on data from the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service. No portion of the state is currently in a drought.

Scott Oviatt is the snow survey supervisor for NCRS Oregon. He says, based on this spring’s weather, there are 2 ways the summer wildfire season could go.

Oviatt: “If it stays cooler and wetter for a longer period, obviously your chances of forest fire – either manmade or lightning-caused – are minimized. If we are still damp and cool here, then we suddenly dry out and warm up, that can have the opposite affect by having a lot of green material which can dry out rapidly and create extra fuels.”

Oviatt says there should be adequate water for irrigating crops through the summer, but that can change as well.

In 2015, eastern Oregon experienced moderate to severe drought conditions. NCRS data found that central Oregon has seen more snow later into this year than normal.

Born and raised in Eugene, Anni started at KLCC in 2000 as a reporter and co-host of Northwest Passage. After graduating from the University of Oregon, Anni moved to New York City. She worked in education for several years before returning to her true love, journalism. Anni co-founded and co-hosted Dailysonic, a narrative-based news podcast. She interned at WNYC's On The Media, then becoming WNYC's assistant producer of Morning Edition.
Related Content