Oncoming Heat Wave Threatens to Exacerbate the Current Oregon Wildfires
There are currently 25 different wildfires across the state of Oregon, which have burned a combined 51,000 acres and injured 33 people. Only two have reached 50% containment. At least, this is the information as of writing this.
I say that because wildfires can start in an instant. It takes one messily-maintained campfire, or even a flick of the match, to start up a brand new wildfire, which will lead to a mountain of destruction the likes of which many can barely comprehend. At any moment, another fire could start, another acre could be burned away, and a person could lose their life. Here is a guide detailing the symptoms of heat sickness and what you should do to stay safe.
As the Oregon heat waves rolls in, the threat of an unconfined fire grows more and more. Not even counting the fact that the heat wave is intense enough to already kill someone on its own, its very presence is able to dry up the land and, therefore, make the land more flammable.
In a press release, Multnomah officials said,
“We are anticipating a significant heat event. Temperatures are expected to pass 100 degrees Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, with 90-plus degree heat likely continuing through Thursday. Overnight temperatures are not expected to offer relief, remaining elevated through the middle of next week.”
These temperatures are not going to make things easier for the state of Oregon or their efforts to quell the forest fires, and even if things finally begin to cool off, we can’t exactly expect things to get better until these affected areas actually get hit with some rain.
Firefighters are now facing two dangers at once as they face off against both a heatwave and potential fires. They need to keep as cool as possible lest they get heat exhaustion and pass out.
“We want to be able to respond to those people who need help,”
Said Ethan Dawson-Hurley, an Oregon paramedic who has been working side by side with these brave men and women.
“And to be able to do that we have to be ready to go as well. We’re up-staffing so we have some additional rigs that will be in service in the case that brushfires do break out. It’s something that we’re super aware of.”
This increase in staffing is so that firefighters will be allowed enough time to recover from high temperatures and possible heat exhaustion.
Some areas of Oregon have already initiated a burn ban, including Oregon State Park, where over 120 campfire sites have been banned from starting any fires. If you plan to go camping, you might want to pick something else up until we get to the cooler months. Right now, we need to make sure we’re not contributing to the problem.