PORTLAND – Extremely hot and dry conditions across Oregon and Southwest Washington have prompted officials to issue fire warnings and an excessive heat watch through Friday.
More: Fire Weather Watch
A Fire Weather Watch was put in effect from Wednesday morning through Friday evening all across Oregon, including in the Portland Metro area. It warned that significant instability, combined with very low humidity could cause even the smallest existing fire to spread quickly.
"With the heat and the atmospheric instability, it creates more vigorous burning conditions," said Capt. Bryan Wilkes, with the Clackamas Fire District. "That coupled with the high heat and the drying of fuels creates a condition where you can have large growth in the area."
And the heat was not expected to let up soon. Meteorologists were predicting a high of 95 on Wednesday, triple-digit temperatures by Thursday, and a high of 98 on Friday. The weekend was expected to stay in the 80s.
Forecast: Heat wave through Friday
Also, the risk of starting news fires was high. Officials warned that discarded cigarettes, sparks along train tracks or even construction sites could potentially turn into wildfires.
The largest wildfire currently burning in Oregon is located along the Nevada border. The Holloway Fire has already spread across 675 square miles in Oregon and Nevada. Firefighters hope to have it contained Thursday evening.
One firefighter was injured battling the Holloway Fire. Authorities said she was digging a fire line when wind blew the flames her direction. She suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation.
Also, on the Warm Springs Reservation, a fire had exploded to more than 1,800 acres Tuesday. That blaze was sparked by lightning over a week ago but was fed by high winds on Monday. It was not threatening any homes or structures.