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Heatwave does not present immediate wildfire threat

Oregon has a one-of-its-kind insurance policy to help offset the cost of fighting wildfires.
As of the last week in July, the 2022 wildfire season had been relatively quiet in Oregon. File photo.

This week’s heatwave doesn’t mean western Oregon is at increased risk for wildfires, at least in the short term.

Edward Hiatt [HY-at] is the Interagency Fire Staff Officer for Northwest Oregon. He says despite the weather, there are no specific reasons to be concerned at this point when it comes to fire activity.

“The weather stations where we capture data are showing it’s hot, it’s dry, but nothing is giving us a big problem," said Edward Hiatt, the Interagency Fire Staff Officer for Northwest Oregon.

A potential problem, said Hiatt, would be "if we were going to see thunderstorm development that carries up from the southwest and progresses across the forest. We don’t see that right now, and it’s not being reported by our weather experts, which is good.”

Hiatt said human-caused fires remain the biggest concern for now. Overall, the Pacific Northwest fire season has been relatively calm to this point.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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