This year’s fire season is already shaping up to be worse than last year in terms of numbers. According to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, last July 31, 23 large fires burned in our region, scorching roughly 40,000 acres. As of July 31 this year, 50 large fires are burning in Oregon and Washington and the number of acres burned is more than 20 times higher.
“We’re already predicting this is going to be the worst wildfire season in Washington state’s history, probably the Pacific Northwest’s history,” said Hilary Franz, Washington Commissioner of Public Lands, in a live interview with KATU News Tuesday afternoon. “We’re seeing on the landscape bone dry conditions and no precipitation on the horizon. We’re seeing the number of fires and conditions which we’ll usually see in late August, early September.”