Northwest Has Enjoyed Slower Than Usual Wildfire Season

Northwest Has Enjoyed Slower Than Usual Wildfire Season

18 September 2009

published by news.opb.org


USA — The Northwest wildfire season is entering its final few weeks. Fire experts say it’s been a slower-than-usual summer, with a relatively small number of acres burned. Correspondent Doug Nadvornick reports.

Jeree Burns from the Northwest Interagency Fire Center says, in a typical summer, about 4000 fires burn about 470,000 acres in Oregon and Washington.

So far this summer, she says, the two states have seen almost the normal number of fires. But they’ve burned only about a quarter of the usual amount of land.

Jeree Burns: “You know, we’ve had quite a few starts, but firefighters have been able to get to them on the initial attack and so they haven’t had a lot of large fires.”

Burns also credits the weather, with timely rains, for lowering the fire danger. Some areas of the Northwest, especially parts of Idaho, had an unusually wet spring.

Perhaps that’s why fire officials there say only 11,000 acres have burned. Compare that to the 2007 season when two million acres burned in Idaho.

Burns warns that the wildfire season isn’t over yet, especially with another round of warm weather expected in the Northwest next week.

She says that means hunters and campers should continue to be careful in the woods.


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