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Drizzly Summer Weather Is Helping Prevent Oregon Wildfires

<p>Smoke from wildfires burning in the Umpqua National Forest is visible through the trees in this Aug. 31, 2017 photo.</p>

Smoke from wildfires burning in the Umpqua National Forest is visible through the trees in this Aug. 31, 2017 photo.

Summer weather has been slightly rainier than usual, and that’s helping prevent wildfires.

“We haven’t really seen a whole lot of critical fire weather conditions, which is definitely a good thing, because it does allow ... our firefighters to get on (fires) quickly," said Will Ahue, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland. "They’re not spreading, because the weather’s not conducive."

Ahue also said the drizzly weather this time of year in northwest Oregon and southwest Washington is not uncommon.

“In general, we get normally three tenths to four tenths of an inch (of rain) in the first part of July,” Ahue said. The region is currently at about eight tenths of an inch. Most of that was from heavy rains on July 1.

“Other than that, it’s typically what you would expect,” Ahue said.

The area could see periods of rain Tuesday night into at least part of Thursday, he said.

More typical summer weather should be coming later this week.

“This weekend looks to be, I think, what most people expect during the summer: Morning clouds, afternoon sun, highs in the '80s.”

Copyright 2019 Oregon Public Broadcasting

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Meerah Powell is a general assignment and breaking news reporter for OPB. She previously worked as a news reporter and podcast producer for Eugene Weekly in her hometown of Eugene, Oregon. Along with writing and audio work, Meerah also has experience with photography and videography. She graduated from the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication.