Douglas County's Drought Order Forecasts Increased Fire Potential

Jun 13, 2018

Douglas County is the fifth county to declare a drought order in Oregon this year.

With low snow melt and dwindling rainfall, Douglas County's emergency drought order highlights a potentially busy fire season.
Credit (Rick Obst/Flikr)

As of May 18 snowpack in the Umpqua Basin is 26 percent of normal, according to the Natural resources Conservation Service. The State of Oregon Water Resources Department also expects stream flows to be much lower than normal.

Kyle Reed is a fire specialist with the Douglas Forest Protection Association, and he says that fire conditions in the forest are already dry, and he anticipates a busy fire season.

“The predictions for the summer are already calling for increased fire potential in Southwestern Oregon, basically July through September,” Reed said. “And in addition to Southwest Oregon that takes in a lot of Eastern Oregon, and a lot of really the Pacific North West and quite a few of the western states.

The drought declaration will allow flexible water management and ensure supplies are used efficiently. Although there are not any restrictions, Douglas County would like to remind residents to be mindful of water use and potential fire starters.