Wildfire Awareness Month: OR Prepares for Fire Season
Thursday, May 6, 2021
PORTLAND, Ore. -- May is Wildfire Awareness Month, and the western United States is preparing for an active year.
Coming off a severe wildfire season where nine Oregonians were killed and 40,000 were displaced, preventing fires is on the minds of many in the state.
Kristin Babbs, president and CEO of Keep Oregon Green, said prevention is key.
"Over 70% of Oregon's wildfires are started by people, and that places the power of prevention squarely in our hands," Babbs contended. "Public lands saw large crowds last summer, and land managers expect to see those same high numbers again this year."
Babbs urged people to keep fire restrictions in mind before heading out. Near their homes, she advised people to keep close watch on debris burns and be careful when using machinery such as lawnmowers that could overheat and spark dry grasses.
Nearly the entire state is abnormally dry and more than three-quarters is experiencing moderate drought or higher.
Babbs pointed out there already have been fires. At the end of March, for instance, nearly 200 homes in Bend were evacuated because of a brush fire.
She added fire restrictions may be in effect depending on where folks are in the state.
"Whether folks are at home or on the job, or they're out having fun, predict the outcome of any outdoor activity that could possibly spark a wildfire," Babbs stressed. "Predictable is preventable."
Keep Oregon Green has a map on its website of current fire conditions and restrictions across the state.
Climate scientists note droughts and severe wildfire seasons are becoming more frequent as temperatures rise from climate change.
References:FEMA Wildfire Awareness Month information May 13, 2020
Oregon Wildfire Economic Recovery Council report January 4, 2021
Oregon Department of Forestry fire cause data October 30, 2020
NOAA Oregon drought map May 6, 2021
Keep Oregon Green current conditions May 6, 2021
NASA climate change and wildfire data February 22, 2021
get more stories like this via email
SALT LAKE CITY -- In the push toward carbon-free energy production, some cities in Utah and nearby states are considering a new type of nuclear …
Health and Wellness
TAMPA, Fla. -- Move United's USA Wheelchair Football League is expanding from four cities to nine, including Tampa, to give athletes with …
CRAIG, Colo. -- What would it look like if one in four households in the country was solar-powered? A new report from the "30 Million Solar Homes" …
Health and Wellness
DES MOINES, Iowa -- People across the Midwest, including Iowans, have dealt with a series of heat waves this summer. Health experts say hotter …
NEW YORK -- Over 10,000 New York and New Jersey front-line airport workers will get health insurance as part of new contract negotiations that come at…
INDIANAPOLIS -- Voting-rights advocates applaud this week's federal appeals-court decision to prevent Indiana from purging some voters from the rolls …
BOSTON -- A new survey finds widespread public support up and down the East Coast for protecting right whales from getting tangled up in fishing gear…
CARSON CITY, Nev. - A bill just introduced in the U.S, Senate would help thousands of species stay off the Endangered Species List - including …