Oregon wildfires prompt governor to declare state of emergency

 
02 August 2017

published by http://www.oregonlive.com


USA - Several wildfires and hot, dry conditions across the state prompted Gov. Kate Brown to declare a state of emergency Wednesday.

Record-breaking heat, continuing hot weather and forecasts for thunderstorms have put Oregon in critical danger of fires, Brown said in a statement.

"As Oregon faces a near record-breaking heat wave, the threat of wildfires increases," Brown said. "I am thankful to the firefighters and crews working tirelessly throughout the state and remind all Oregonians to be safe and follow posted fire bans."

Brown's declaration allows the Oregon National Guard to mobilize resources to assist the state Department of Forestry and the state Fire Marshal's Office.

Multiple fires are burning throughout the state. Some threaten homes and other structures.

In the Columbia River Gorge, the Indian Creek Fire is burning across 74 acres. Though the fire is not spreading, it is not contained and is threatening some residences. Firefighters have struggled with access as it burns in difficult terrain. The Eagle Creek Trail remains closed from the boundary with Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness south to the Pacific Coast Trail junction.

The Whitewater Fire near Whitewater Creek in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness is nearly 300 acres. The fire is 10 percent contained and threatens homes, according to the Northwest Interagency Communications Center, which tracks wildfires.

All access to the Jefferson Trail and Jefferson Park is closed as crews battle the fire. The closure includes an 11-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail. Parts of several other trails in the area are closed, including the Whitewater Trail, Cheat Creek Trail and Triangulation Trail.

Crews are fighting four large fires in southern Oregon.

Near Prospect, the 1,241-acre Blanket Fire and the 1,200-acre Spruce Lake Fire were caused by lightning in late July.

The Blanket Fire is 7 percent contained and threatens some homes and other buildings. The fire has reached the road in several spots and continues to grow, the Northwest Interagency Communications Center said.

Several trails near Crater Lake are closed as crews fight the Spruce Lake Fire. The Bert Creek Trail is closed. The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Lightning Springs Trail north to Red Cone Camp, and the Bald Crater Loop Trail is closed from the Pacific Crest Trail to Bert Creek Trail.

The Spruce Lake Fire is 5 percent contained. Some homes and other buildings are threatened.

In unincorporated Klamath County, the 1,200-acre Devils Lake Fire burns near the community of Bly. It threatens six homes.

Smoke from the Indian Creek Fire, the Whitewater Fire and wildfires in Canada and northern Washington hung over the Portland area Wednesday. The smoke prompted the Oregon Department of Environment Quality to issue an air pollution advisory. They asked drivers to limit driving and idling cars to prevent smog.

The smoke could also exacerbate respiratory and heart conditions, the National Weather Service warned. The weather service advised people limit their outdoor activities and stay inside to limit exposure to the smoke.

Several counties and cities have issued summer burn bans due to high temperatures and little to no rainfall. Multnomah and Clackamas counties issued bans that include recreational campfires, fire pits, yard debris and agricultural burning.

Camas and Washougal banned outdoor recreational fires, city officials said. Salem also banned open burning, campfires, bonfires and fires in fire pits.

People are asked to contact their local fire department for more information.

An international team of climate researchers from the US, South Korea and the UK has developed a new wildfire and drought prediction model for southwestern North America. Extending far beyond the current seasonal forecast, this study published in the journal Scientific Reports could benefit the economies with a variety of applications in agriculture, water management and forestry.

Over the past 15 years, California and neighboring regions have experienced heightened conditions and an increase in numbers with considerable impacts on human livelihoods, agriculture, and terrestrial ecosystems. This new research shows that in addition to a discernible contribution from natural forcings and human-induced global warming, the large-scale difference between Atlantic and Pacific ocean temperatures plays a fundamental role in causing droughts, and enhancing wildfire risks.

"Our results document that a combination of processes is at work. Through an ensemble modeling approach, we were able to show that without anthropogenic effects, the droughts in the southwestern United States would have been less severe," says co-author Axel Timmermann, Director of the newly founded IBS Center for Climate Physics, within the Institute for Basics Science (IBS), and Distinguished Professor at Pusan National University in South Korea. "By prescribing the effects of man-made climate change and observed global ocean temperatures, our model can reproduce the observed shifts in weather patterns and wildfire occurrences."



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-atlanticpacific-ocean-temperature-difference-fuels.html#jCp
An international team of climate researchers from the US, South Korea and the UK has developed a new wildfire and drought prediction model for southwestern North America. Extending far beyond the current seasonal forecast, this study published in the journal Scientific Reports could benefit the economies with a variety of applications in agriculture, water management and forestry.
 

Over the past 15 years, California and neighboring regions have experienced heightened conditions and an increase in numbers with considerable impacts on human livelihoods, agriculture, and terrestrial ecosystems. This new research shows that in addition to a discernible contribution from natural forcings and human-induced global warming, the large-scale difference between Atlantic and Pacific ocean temperatures plays a fundamental role in causing droughts, and enhancing wildfire risks.

"Our results document that a combination of processes is at work. Through an ensemble modeling approach, we were able to show that without anthropogenic effects, the droughts in the southwestern United States would have been less severe," says co-author Axel Timmermann, Director of the newly founded IBS Center for Climate Physics, within the Institute for Basics Science (IBS), and Distinguished Professor at Pusan National University in South Korea. "By prescribing the effects of man-made climate change and observed global ocean temperatures, our model can reproduce the observed shifts in weather patterns and wildfire occurrences."



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-atlanticpacific-ocean-temperature-difference-fuels.html#jCp