Friday, June 7, 2013

Outlook: Hot and Dry

After a week of hot weather in southwest Oregon, it's easy to believe the long-range wildfire forecast that says the 2013 fire season will be one for the record books. A thin snowpack in the Cascade Range and the Siskiyou Mtns coupled with a drier than normal spring has left vegetation in Jackson and Josephine counties ready to burn.

And it's not going to get better anytime soon.

Higher than normal temperatures and lower-than-normal precipitation is expected throughout summer, according to the National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook published on June 1 by the National Interagency Fire Center. "Above normal significant wildand fire potential" is expected in Oregon and Northern California from July through September.

All signs point toward this being a summer to be very careful when using fire or spark-creating equipment outdoors.