The lightning-sparked Government Flat Complex fire near The Dalles has grown to more than 1,500 acres, becoming the 10th large fire now burning in Oregon.
The blaze brings the number of acres currently burning from wildfires to 95,000. Roughly half of those acres are connected with the Douglas Complex fire in southwestern Oregon.
Current weather forecasts show lightning strikes increasing across the state Thursday. Fire fighters will be watching closely for new fire starts.
National data shows a quiet fire season in terms of acres burned when compared to 2012. So far this year, more than 3 million acres have burned across the country, compared to more than 6 million acres at this time a year ago.
The 10-year average through mid-August is 5,397,176 acres burned nationally.
Here are a few state comparisons of current acres burning from wildfires:
- Oregon: 95,000
- Washington: 860
- Idaho: 411,000
- Montana: 41,000
- Nevada: 16,000
- Utah: 67,000
- Alaska: 92,000
Idaho has two large fires currently burning more than 100,000 acres each. Washington is having a very quiet wildfire season, which may be connected to spring rains that mostly stayed north of Oregon.
KGW began airing stories back in May that warned of a bad wildfire season due to the first dry spring in years. Going back to January, Portland International Airport has seen below-normal rainfall each month except May. Below-normal precipitation is likely to continue for much of Oregon through September and possibly October.
Of the current wildfires burning in the Northwest, all but two are confirmed lightning starts.
Meteorologist Rod Hill, follow me @