Incoming heat wave raises fire concerns in the Gorge

Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 4:54 PM PDT
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COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE, Ore. (KPTV) - With the recent rain Portland has been getting, you wouldn’t stop to think about fire danger. With high temperatures heading our way along with some wind, it’s the perfect condition for serious fire danger.

The Gorge can see gusts of up to 30 mph this weekend. Corbett fire says it’s tall grass that is the most dangerous right now because it’s dry and brittle.

“This is something really concerned about. Especially where it gets close to trees that have some low hanging branches. That’s where a little fire on the ground can really quickly become a big fire up in the air.”

On Thursday, there was a fire in The Dalles off I-84 about two acres in size. Mid-Columbia Fire say they’re unsure of the cause of the fire but that it was a small fire that moved slowly.

“We deal with fires in hayfields and residential of burn piles that get out of control, fences, all kinds of stuff. It be surprised when things get really dry and really hot, almost anything can catch on fire,” says Selden.

Corbett fire recently received a grant to provide more staffing to patrol areas when weather conditions are risky.

In addition to mowing your lawn and not throwing out cigarette buds in the grass, it’s recommended you trim your trees of any low hanging branches and clear your gutters of any needles. Also, clear anything near the foundation of your home. Things like bark chips are flammable.

Counties like Wasco have ended outdoor burning, for the Gorge, it ends July 1.