Here We Go Again!

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We have had a very short respite from one of the most dangerous occurrences we can experience this time of the year and I mean wildfires. As of Wednesday 6.23.21there were two large wildfires reported in Oregon. With temperatures expected to continue to remain well above normal and even near-record to record heat possible the threat of more wildfires is very serious.

Drought Monitor Showing Oregon | Image by droughtmonitor.unl.eud

The dreaded “D” word complicates this situation even more. Oregon is in serious trouble when it comes to our current drought outlook. It’s bad. The whole South Willamette Valley is listed as D3 which is Extreme Drought.

NWCC Large Wildfire Map 6.23.21 | Image by NWCC

The following are the Wildfire updates from the Northwest Large Fire Interactive Web Map for Wednesday 6.23.21.

Cutoff Wildfire Near Bonanza | Photo by Brian Gailey, Klamath Falls News

The Cutoff fire: Located 6 miles north of Bonanza, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 1,150. The fuel/terrain is timber. It started on 6.19.21 and the cause is under investigation. Residences threatened: 2 destroyed, Other structures threatened: 20 outbuildings destroyed. Resources being used: Total Personnel 426, 10 crews, 9 helicopters, and 17 engines. The fire is 23% contained. The lead agency listed is the Oregon Department of Forestry.

The S-503 fire: Located 18 miles southwest of Maupin, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 6,556 The fuel/terrain is timber. It started on 6.18.21 and the cause is under investigation. Residences threatened: 0 , Other structures threatened: 0. Resources being used: Total Personnel 316, 7 crews, 0 helicopters, and 30 engines. The fire is 20% contained. The lead agency listed is the USDI Bureau of Indian affairs.

NWCC Large Fire Map 6.26.21 | Image by NWCC

Updating the previous wildfire reports and adding another new fire as of 6.26.21.

The Cutoff fire: Located 6 miles north of Bonanza, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 1,288. The fuel/terrain is timber. It started on 6.19.21 and the cause is under investigation. Residences threatened: 2 destroyed, Other structures threatened: 20 outbuildings destroyed. Resources being used: Total Personnel 398, 10 crews, 5 helicopters, and 18 engines. The fire is 85% contained. The lead agency listed is the Oregon Department of Forestry.

The S-503 fire: Located 18 miles southwest of Maupin, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 491 The fuel/terrain is timber. It started on 6.18.21 and the cause is under investigation. Residences threatened: 0 , Other structures threatened: 0. Resources being used: Total Personnel 516, 12 crews, 3 helicopters, and 39 engines. The fire is 60% contained. The lead agency listed is the USDI Bureau of Indian affairs.

The Lower Deck fire: Located at Warm Springs, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 1,288. The fuel/terrain is grass and brush. It started on 6.24.21 and the cause is under investigation. Residences threatened: 0, Other structures threatened: 0. Resources being used: Total Personnel 0, 0 crews, 0 helicopters, and 0 engines. The fire is 50% contained. The lead agency listed is the USDI Bureau of Indian Affairs.

NWCC Large Fire Map 6.28.21

Updated 6.28.21: Notice the Lower Deck ire is no longer on the list.

The Cutoff fire: Located 6 miles north of Bonanza, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 1,288. The fuel/terrain is timber. It started on 6.19.21 and the cause is under investigation. Residences threatened: 2 destroyed, Other structures threatened: 20 outbuildings destroyed. Resources being used: Total Personnel 83, 2 crews, 0 helicopters, and 4 engines. The fire is 96% contained. The lead agency listed is the Oregon Department of Forestry.

The S-503 fire: Located 18 miles southwest of Maupin, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 6,679 The fuel/terrain is timber. It started on 6.18.21 and the cause is under investigation. Residences threatened: 0 , Other structures threatened: 0. Resources being used: Total Personnel 394, 9 crews, 3 helicopters, and 36 engines. The fire is 95% contained. The lead agency listed is the USDI Bureau of Indian affairs.

It would seem that both of these wildfires are very close to being completely contained which makes the time when they are totally burned out closer. With this current heatwave cooling off a bit you might think we can relax a bit, but that is far from the case. High temperatures over Oregon are going to remain well above normal and the drought situation is likely to get worse. Those are good reasons for all of us to be extra careful with our use of fire to help prevent the horrific and record setting wildfire season we had last year.

Let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain. You can comment below or email me at: [email protected].

Tim Chuey is a Member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association and has been Awarded Seals of Approval for television weathercasting from both organizations.

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