banner-optimized_0_0.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Regional Interests

Wildfires grow during Oregon heat wave

Lightning ignited the Patton Meadow Fire 14 miles west of Lakeview on August 12. Since then, it’s grown to more than 7,000 acres and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office has issued multiple levels of evacuation.
Lightning ignited the Patton Meadow Fire 14 miles west of Lakeview on August 12. Since then, it’s grown to more than 7,000 acres and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office has issued multiple levels of evacuation.

Oregon’s hot, dry conditions are hampering efforts to put out wildfires.

Fire crews are tracking a dozen uncontained larges fires across Oregon. All told, almost a half-million acres of land have burned so far. The high heat and low humidity have caused several fires to grow over the last few days.

Mike Stearly with the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, said they have what they need to fight the fires, but only just that. He said most of the resources are already being utilized to fight existing fires.

“Crews and resources are harder to come by because we’re experiencing fire in California, Montana, Wyoming, all throughout the west.”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act, mobilizing the Office of the Oregon State Fire Marshal.

Oregon’s wildfire season started early this year, but authorities won’t know until the season ends how it compares to past seasons.

The Bootleg fire, the largest fire this season, is now 98% contained. That means some of the crews and equipment being used on that fire can be placed elsewhere.

Meanwhile, an excessive heat advisory remains in place across much of the state, with cooling centers expected to remain open until Sunday morning.

“Several days of high temperatures stresses our bodies,” said Oregon health officer Dr. Jennifer Vines. “Everyone should continue to have a plan to stay cool and help others do the same.”

Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting