PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – According to the Department of Forestry, which monitors weather and other factors that could influence fires, almost all of Oregon is in a high fire danger level.

This comes as a brush fire broke out in Portland near the Steel Bridge on Tuesday. While authorities do not know what sparked it, fire analysists say it is not surprising.

“This is prime fire season. Just naturally, August in general is a higher risk month just due to the temperatures,” Jessica Prakke of the Oregon Department of Forestry said.

According to fire analysts, the forest lands surrounding the Portland metro area are currently in a high fire danger level — meaning wildfires are likely.

For people living in The Dalles, experts say the fire danger moves up to extreme, meaning fires will start and spread rapidly.

“There really isn’t any area that doesn’t have some element of risk. We need to have high awareness, not all fires are natural. In fact, majority of them are man-made fires,” Jackson County Fire Chief Bob Horton said.

During this time of high fire danger, campfires must be kept in designated fire rings and cigarette smoking has to be in designated areas.

Oregon fire chiefs want to remind people to be responsible. 

“A wildfire that may start in the forest and spread into our communities. But as we’ve seen all too often here in Oregon, now, sometimes the fires are just flat, starting in our communities,” Horton explained.

The Oregon Department of Forestry has a ban on risky behavior amid high fire danger. This includes burning debris or lighting fireworks. Additionally, there are bans on target shooting and any mechanical work that could emit sparks during the hottest and driest part of the day.  

“When it comes to wildfire prevention, make sure that your car has been serviced recently. Simple sparks that can come off of a car that may have something wrong, with say the catalytic converter or something like that, it can spark dry grass on the side of the road,” Prakke said. “Don’t park over dry grass that can also cause a spark. And then, like I said earlier, dry grass can burn easily and very quickly.”

While 70% of Oregon’s fires are human-caused, ODF says 2022 has the lowest average of human-caused fires.