Synchronous fires and fire danger challenge US capacity to respond

John Abatzoglou, Alison Cullen, and Susan Prichard The 2021 fire season has coincided with yet another hot, dry summer. As of 17 September, 2021, a total of 2.5 million acres (1.01 million ha) had burned in the Northwest (defined here as Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana), including the Bootleg fire in southern Oregon, which burned…

Climate Enabling Conditions and Drivers of the Western Oregon Wildfires of 2020

Climatologists John Abatzoglou, David Rupp, and Larry O’Neill break down the forces that enabled Oregon’s historic fires in September 2020 John Abatzoglou, David Rupp, and Larry O’Neill Over half an inch of rain fell over Salem, Oregon, and much of western Oregon, on September 18. In most years this ordinary rainfall event would not have…

This Summer—A Welcome Reprieve

This summer the Northwest got a break from the hot and smoky conditions of recent summers past. Learn more in this installment of Northwest Climate Currents.