Fire Season Roaring Now in Oregon

August 12, 2015

11pm Wednesday…

There are 12 major fires burning across Oregon this evening, some of them have grown from lightning strikes to thousands of acres in just a day or so.

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The Cornet fire south of Baker City (SE of Phillips Reservoir) has blossomed to 12,000+ acres just in the past few hours, and the Warm Springs fire MAY have been started by sparks from a vehicle since several small fires along Hwy. 26 merged together in a short period of time.  Coming back from Wallowa Lake camping at midday today it was obvious a large fire was burning on the south side of Mt. Adams.  The fire plume reached 32,000′ at one point; measured by the Portland radar as a “thunderstorm top”

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We have some rain on the way, on Friday, but only for northwest Oregon and western Washingon.  East of the Cascades it will remain dry.

The National Complex fires just south of Diamond Lake in SW Oregon have put the Diamond Lake resort areas on a Level 1 evacuation.  That means GET READY; just a contingency in case those fires make a run toward the lake.  That’s a beautiful area, as most of our state is, so I would hate to see it burned.  Of course fires have burned in our region every summer since WAY before people ever showed up, so “it is what it is” I suppose.

We have showers coming on Friday.  Just one day, but some hefty showers likely.  Maybe even a thundershower.  Our RPM is guessing a quarter-inch or so in the valleys;

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not exactly a drought-buster, but it’ll settle the dust and clear out the air.  The WRF-GFS from the UW shows similar totals.  .10-.30″ in the valleys.

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I spent 3 nights with the family camping at Wallowa Lake Sunday-this morning.  What a beautiful few days.  Yesterday was a real scorcher with temperatures 90+ even at that elevation!  This is one of the most beautiful parts of Oregon; don’t you agree?  I’m not a fisherman, but my son now is so I’ve played along.  Pathetic that all I caught was some sort of sucker-type fish.  At least he got his 5 Trout limit in under an hour.

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Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen