Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

More Than 500,000 Acres Have Burned In Oregon So Far This Year

File photo of the Chetco Bar fire in southern Oregon on July 29, 2017. Wildfires have burned more than 500,000 acres in Oregon so far this year.

Wildfires have consumed more than 500,000 acres in Oregon so far this year according to the Oregon Department of Forestry. The number includes blazes on both public and privately-owned land.

Ron Graham, deputy chief of the Fire Protection Division of the Department of Forestry, said the number of acres burned will likely grow, because it could be several more weeks until wildfires subside in a meaningful way.  ??

"Overall, these fires now will be on the landscape until there are season-ending events for us,” Graham said. “Typically that means when we start to see normal rainfall return into the picture and snow in the high country."

Scattered showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast this week in parts of Oregon, although they aren't expected to make a significant dent in active wildfires.

And the rain could bring its own set of problems: The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for parts of southwest Oregon. The agency warns that heavy rain falling on burned areas could produce dangerous runoff.