Wildfire risk continues in Pacific Northwest

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

wildfire smoke.jpg

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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