OR fire officials predict normal fire season this year - KPTV - FOX 12

OR fire officials predict normal fire season this year

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Oregon faced a record-breaking fire season in 2015 with record low snowpack, the driest conditions in 25 years, and more than 800 human-caused fires, but this year, fire officials are saying the fire season will be "normal".

State agencies are recognizing May as Wildfire Awareness Month, and want to teach wildfire safety as this year's fire season approaches.

Eight western states have pledged to encouraged their residents to take steps to prepare their homes for wildfires and become fire-adapted.

Last year, 70 percent of all wildfires were caused by people in Oregon. Officials said it can be as simple as a spark from a grill or campfire.

For the past three years, the state has faced record-breaking wildfires, in terms of how many acres burned and how much those fires cost the state.

Officials said this year they predict a more normal fire season.

"We looked at last year as one of the hardest, most difficult complex fire seasons we've had in the Pacific Northwest," said Kevin Martin with the U.S. Forest Service.

"While we're anticipating a normal fire season, a normal fire season does include fires," said John Saltenberger, Fire Weather Program Manager.

Almost two-million acres were affected by wildfires in the Northwest last year, and during peak fire activity, more than 11,000 firefighters and support personnel worked on Northwest fires throughout the summer.

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