2021 Wildfire Season Already At High Risk For Oregon And Washington

Jun 29, 2021

As the Pacific Northwest swelters inside a so-called “heat dome”, a meteorologist for a fire command agency says conditions are especially primed for wildfires this year. 

A firefighter looks out at a portion of the Holiday Farm Fire near Vida, 2020.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Eric Wise is a predictive meteorologist for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, which oversees fire management and suppression across Oregon and Washington. He said his biggest concern is the widespread drought conditions that opened up this wildfire season.

“Drought as bad as we’ve seen it, most recent similar year was 2015," Wise told KLCC.  "And this year has shaped up to be worse than that year in terms of the dryness. 

"And then with the excessive heat that’s come in recently, that’s definitely got us primed for those fuels to be receptive to ignition.” 

Wise said Oregon and Washington will enter July at higher-than-normal fire risk.  Come late August and September, he said conditions will return to normal levels, with full normalcy expected in October.

Copyright 2021, KLCC.