Parts of Oregon expected to see ‘above-normal’ fire season, Gov. Kotek says

PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — We may be in the middle of spring, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the hot and dry season — it’s right around the corner. State officials are already preparing for when the weather changes and wildfires begin.

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek said during a press briefing Tuesday that fire season will be a little delayed this year, at least in the parts of the valley, because of the wet spring we’ve seen so far. But Kotek is preparing for what’s expected to be another busy wildfire season, especially in the areas that haven’t seen much precipitation over the last couple of months.

“Particularly in eastern Oregon… there’s expected to be an above-normal fire season,” said Kotek.

Kotek added that crews will face obstacles out in the field this summer, but the Oregon Department of Forestry has seen progress through the use of technology, which is something they’re going to rely on again this season.

“We’re going to continue with our statewide smoke technology system and smoke detection cameras, and those cameras have proven to bring success,” said Mike Shaw with the Oregon Department of Forestry.

The agency also has spotters to look for fires in more rural areas, plus Shaw said that the state of Oregon owns a plane that can fly after lightning storms at night to detect possible lightning-caused fires.

One thing everyone can do this summer is be prepared, and take steps now to be ready just in case.

Gov. Kotek said she wanted to remind Oregonians to have a plan, have a go kit and have a plan if you start to see signs of an encroaching fire in your community.

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