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Warm spring increases Oregon's wildfire potential

Only the Willamette Valley and most coastal areas are expected to be at the normal range of fire risk throughout the summer.

Posted: Jun 19, 2018 10:48 AM
Updated: Jun 19, 2018 10:48 AM

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) -- State and federal forest managers say Oregon's wildfire season does not look promising.

Noel Livingston, fire management officer on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, says the warm May melted off the snowpack two weeks early. The green forests of eastern Oregon are drying out, and Livingston says the southern and central Oregon will be "above normal" for significant wildfire potential in July.

Only the Willamette Valley and most coastal areas are expected to be at the normal range of fire risk throughout the summer.

Wallowa-Whitman spokeswoman Katy Gray tells the East Oregonian that the U.S. Forest Service and other fire agencies are moving away from talking about a "fire season." Instead, they are using the term "fire year" because wildfires are year-round.

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