Friday, July 3, 2015

Most Wildfires Can Be Prevented

PORTLAND - With the July 4th holiday approaching, the Pacific Northwest Wildfire Coordinating Group (PNWCG) would like to remind outdoor recreationists in Oregon and Washington to use care to prevent wildfires. Parts of the region have not had significant precipitation since mid-March, and conditions are very dry across many areas in both states. Wildfires can start and grow much more easily when conditions are dry.

Discharging fireworks or explosives, including exploding targets, is prohibited. Fireworks can cause costly and dangerous wildfires, especially when conditions are hot and dry and vegetation is receptive to sparks. Fireworks and exploding targets are prohibited at campgrounds and elsewhere on public lands. Recreationists should also check on local fire restrictions before heading out, and consider whether a campfire is necessary.

In 2014, 1,293,685 acres burned in wildfire. Almost half of the 4,572 fires reported in Washington and Oregon were human caused and could have been prevented. Firefighters and land managers need everyone’s help to prevent wildfires this holiday and through the summer.

The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center seasonal drought outlook shows drought conditions in all of Oregon and nearly all of Washington will likely persist and increase through September, creating conditions that will lead to larger and longer wildfires once they start. While there is nothing we can do to prevent lightning-caused fires, extra caution to prevent accidental human-caused fire starts will be especially important all summer long. 

“Wildland agencies work together year round to protect and maintain healthy and fire resilient landscapes, support fire adapted communities and coordinate safe and efficient wildfire response,” said PNWCG Chair David Summer. “We all have a role to play in protecting our beautiful public lands here in the Pacific Northwest. Please take care to avoid starting a wildfire when recreating this season. Protect what you love.”

Follow the Northwest Coordination Center (NWCC) on Twitter: @nwccinfo. Visit the NWCC website for a wealth of fire information: .  For more information on Pacific Northwest Fire Adapted Communities, please visit: or follow on Twitter @PNWFAC. Details for individual fires can be found on Inciweb:


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