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DFPA Remarks On The Upcoming Fire Season

7:04 PM · May 2, 2021

(DFPA) We’re often asked things like “when will fire season begin” and “how bad is fire season going to be this year?” And while we don’t know exactly what will happen, here’s some stats and charts to help illustrate what we may see in the coming weeks to months. From October 1st – April 30th, the NOAA weather station in Roseburg recorded 20.63 inches of rain, which is a little over 10 inches below normal rainfall for that time period. Looking at the “departure from normal precipitation” map, most of the state has seen lower than normal rainfall totals. According to the US Drought Monitor, the majority of Oregon is now in some form of drought condition with the western half of Douglas County being in a “Moderate Drought” and the eastern half of the county being in a “Severe Drought”. NOAA’s three-month weather forecast for the months of May, June, and July is calling for increased chances to see above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation throughout our area. The “significant wildfire potential outlook”, issued on May 1st (and updated each month), shows that portions of southwest Oregon (including parts of southern and eastern Douglas County) are forecasted to see above normal large fire potential by August. In this forecast, “large fires” are defined as a wildfire 100+ acres in size in timber or 300+ acres in grass. So, what exactly does this all mean? If the long-range weather forecast holds true, we very likely could see another busy fire season. And while fire season is not in affect on DFPA protected lands at this time, we are closely monitoring weather patterns and fire conditions to help determine when the 2021 fire season will officially begin.

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