Fire officials warn of increased fire danger due to heat wave

Wildfires

Press conference to begin around 1:45 p.m.

Local Lakeview Crew, the GE Crew 21 (T2IA) and two T6 Engine Crews worked until 2:30 a.m. on the Bootleg Fire, August 5, 2021 (Mike McMillan – USFS)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Fire officials across the state are concerned about the increased fire danger due to high temperatures this week.

“We have a tough forecast for the next few days with high and extreme fire danger for most of the state,” Doug Grafe, ODF’s Chief of Fire Protection, said during a press conference giving an update on Oregon’s fire season.

Grafe said there is a likelihood of lightening over the next few days.

Grafe said that across Oregon and Washington, there are 29 uncontained large fires. 12 of those are in Oregon, where there are 5,000 firefighters from across the nation.

Grafe said there have already been 1,500 fires so far in the region, which is approaching the average for the whole year.

“A difficult fire season to date and ahead of us,” Grafe said.

There is still a month and a half to two months left in the fire season. The next few months are the most challenging due to the cumulative dryness.

The Bootleg Fire, which began July 6, grew to 413,765 acres. Fire officials said it is now 98% contained and is expected to be fully contained around October 1.

Complete KOIN coverage: Wildfires

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