Why Is Climate Change Increasing Lane County’s Wildfire Risk? Is The Situation Going To Get Worse?

The month of September is always marked by heavy smoke from wildfires. Over the course of the last few years, the formerly green woods of Oregon have been ruined by the heat. In recent years, it has become increasingly usual to see the orange sky and ferocious flames.

Since the year 2020, about 290,000 acres of the Willamette Forest have been destroyed by fire in Lane County. Over 173,000 acres were destroyed by the Holiday Farm Fire. The Middle Fork Complex fire devastated 29,000 acres in the year 2021. As of right now, the Cedar Creek Fire has consumed more than 85,000 acres, and there has been virtually little progress made toward containing it.

It’s not only Oregon that’s experiencing an uptick in fire activity. Over the past few years, wildfire activity has been on the rise over the entirety of the Western United States. One of the primary contributors to this problem is the drought.

Alterations in the wind’s direction on Friday served to further contribute to the blanketing of Western Oregon in smoke and ash. Because of this, the air quality in several localities has reached “Hazardous” standards.

Climate Change Increasing Lane County's Wildfire Risk
Climate Change Increasing Lane County’s Wildfire Risk

Our greatest hope for putting an end to this year’s fire season is for the rain to start falling again. This week will have cooler temperatures, and there is a continued risk of precipitation into the weekend.

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