Portland, Ore. – Avoid all burning and fires right now and be extra careful with open flame. The National Weather Service in Portland has issued a Red Flag Warning for the metro area starting Monday. Forecasters are calling for a potentially historic wind storm that is making fire conditions extremely dangerous, and some should expect to see power outages from limbs and trees possibly coming down. Forecaster Colby Newman with NWS Portland tells Fm News 101 KXL, we rarely see a wind storm like this during this part of the year, it’s something that happens once every few decades.
The metro area is expecting to see strong wind gusts up to around 50 mph, combined with warmer than normal temperatures, and hot and dry conditions- it’s a recipe for potential fire disaster. Any fire has the potential to spread rapidly beyond control once the heavy winds start Monday evening. Labor Day campers are being sent home from areas and are being told all fires are prohibited in some areas. Local power companies and state agencies are considering power black outs, shutting down electricity to some areas to prevent any fires from starting. Officials urge you not to start any fires or do any kind of burning for the next few days. Also, don’t park a hot engine on top of dry grass that can catch fire too.
KXL’s Jacob Dean talked more with NWS Portland’s Colby Newman:
Red Flag Warning
URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service Portland OR 331 PM PDT Sun Sep 6 2020 HISTORIC SEPTEMBER EAST WIND EVENT LIKELY, PEAKING MONDAY NIGHT AND TUESDAY... EXTREMELY DRY CONDITIONS LIKELY TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY... Hot, dry, and strong easterly winds are expected starting Monday afternoon, peaking overnight Monday into Tuesday morning, then slowly easing through Tuesday evening. These winds have the potential to reach historic speeds for early to mid September. Winds likely to initially reach speeds greater than 15 mph in Fire Weather Zones 605, 607 and 660 by midday Monday but will quickly increase in all other zones later Monday and Monday night. Relative humidities are expected to reach critical levels overnight and Tuesday with the influx of dry air. Willamette Valley-Clark County Lowlands- 331 PM PDT Sun Sep 6 2020 RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM MONDAY TO 8 PM PDT WEDNESDAY FOR WIND AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 604 AND 667... * Affected Area... In Oregon... - Fire Weather Zone 604 Willamette Valley. In Washington... - Fire Weather Zone 667 Clark County Lowlands. * Winds...Northeast 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 45 mph. * Relative Humidity...As low as 10 percent. Poor overnight humidity recoveries for most of the area. * Impacts...Conditions will be favorable for rapid fire spread which may threaten life and property. Use extra caution with potential ignition sources, especially in grassy areas. Outdoor burning is not recommended. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of the above conditions can contribute to extreme fire behavior.
URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service Portland OR 102 PM PDT Sun Sep 6 2020 Greater Portland Metro Area-Greater Vancouver Area- Including the cities of Hillsboro, Portland, Wilsonville, Oregon City, Gresham, Troutdale, Vancouver, Battle Ground, Ridgefield, Washougal, Yacolt, and Amboy 102 PM PDT Sun Sep 6 2020 WIND ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM MONDAY TO 1 PM PDT TUESDAY... * WHAT...East winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts 40 to 55 mph expected. * WHERE...In Washington, Greater Vancouver Area. In Oregon, Greater Portland Metro Area. * WHEN...From 5 PM Monday to 1 PM PDT Tuesday. * IMPACTS...Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Some tree limbs will likely be blown down and a few power outages may result. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Windy conditions will be most prevalent on the Oregon side, but strong gusts will be possible anywhere in the metro area. Strongest gusts will likely be in the higher terrain of the metro area, such as the West Hills of Portland, Mount Scott, and Rocky Butte. * FIRE CONCERNS...Conditions will be favorable for rapid fire spread. Use extreme caution with potential ignition sources. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects. For more information from the National Weather Service visit https://weather.gov/portland