Wildfire risk continues in Pacific Northwest

USDA meteorologists warn high temps and dry conditions are cause for concern over the next few days.

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Producers in the Pacific Northwest should be on high alert for fires in the coming days, especially in areas experiencing little rainfall.

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says winds are a concern, too.

“The problem though, with the Western U.S., is that as you move further north and you get into Northern California, the Northern Great Basin, and the Northwest—there may be a few thunderstorms, but they’re not going to be very efficient rainmakers,” Rippey said. “So, in areas where we get lightning strikes, and we don’t get a lot of rainfall—and sometimes we get the gusty winds with those thundershowers too—that can be a wildfire concern.”

Right now, the National Weather Service is projecting a significant heat and fire risk for areas near Spokane, Washington. They’ve also issued a red flag warning until Friday.

“It has been extremely hot in recent days in parts of the Northwest,” Rippey said. “Just recently—on Monday, August, 14—we saw some all-time August high-temperature records set in parts of the Northwest. So, we do have a lot of drying that has taken place. We will be watching those dry thunderstorms and the potential for wildfire ignitions in the Northwest over the next several days.”

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