It seems like the “morning after” here at home since we have blue sky and the wind is calmer. But I typically don’t complete a blog post via generator in summer!
Reality is pretty bad across western Oregon and southwest Washington this morning. Here’s a crazy satellite loop from GOES-WEST. The black areas are active fires burning (heat detected) before sunrise.
Then after sunrise you see the massive plumes of smoke spreading westward. The plumes coming off Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens are dust. Click for a loop
1) Multiple fires are burning now and spreading on extremely dry easterly wind
2) Beachie Creek and Lionshead fires have almost joined. A massive conflagration stretches almost all the way between the Warm Springs Reservation to west of Mill City. That’s 40-50 miles! Silver Falls State Park in danger now too. Lots of people had to drive through fire last night to get out of the North Santiam Canyon. Here’s the fire detection from space
3) New large fires east of Battle Ground and southeast of Estacada. These don’t have names yet as far as I’m aware…a developing situation for sure. A wider view of those detections. Only red/orange are current detections. Yellow is from earlier in the year or regular field burning
4) Another large fire burning down McKenzie River east of Springfield. 5) Many smaller fires prompting evacuations as well. Lots of highways and roads closed
6) PGE still has 70,000 customers out of powerEast wind isn’t quite as strong, but even 20 mph with relative humidities in the 5-15% range this afternoon is very bad.
Wind goes calm in some areas tonight and really dies down tomorrow afternoon for most of us.
Apparently vacation is over…my choice during this historic fire episode, and I’ll be on the air all evening. I’ll see you there.
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen