EUGENE, Ore. -- 2019's fire season has been milder than year's past, resulting in considerably less spending on fire suppression in Washington and Oregon, according to data from the Interagency Coordination Center.
Officials said that 178,129 acres have burned across the two states so far this year, compared to a total of 1,273,097 acres in 2018. According to interagency fire officer Eric Johnson, this decrease is largely because of cool and wet conditions throughout the summer.
Hikers in the area said that the difference was notable.
"Remember the last few summers when the sky was just brown and the air quality wasn't good? This summer, we could go outside, we could run and do things without worrying about air quality," said hiker Caroline Gillette.
The decrease accompanies less spending on fire suppression. This year, more than $83.4 million have been spent. In 2018 around this time, $521 million had been spent.
"There's been a lot less hours worked. We've had to import a lot less firefighters," said Johnson.
Though fire season has been mild and summer is winding down, Johnson warns that fires are still possible. He said that campers tend to abandon their campfires more frequently in the fall season, and lightning storms commonly start fires.
"We start having dry air from the interior and eastern Oregon come across the mountains into western Oregon and dry out and that's when some of our largest fires have occurred."
- Mild fire season adds up to firefighting savings
- New vegetation could add fuel to fire season
- Most US adults have not gotten a flu shot for this mild season
- Most U.S. adults have not gotten a flu shot during a mild season
- Running back depth adds versatility
- Crews prepare for fire season
- New Douglas County firefighters train for wildfire season
- Lebanon Fire District adds new ladder truck to fleet
- Junction City firefighters battle "challenging" industrial fire
- Lebanon firefighters rescue dog, extinguish house fire