Since the beginning of June there have been nearly 200 wildfires in the Pacific Northwest that were either caused by people or are suspected to be human-caused.
Forestry officials say people are ignoring the signs that are posted pretty much everywhere, that campfires are NOT permitted right now. The fire danger is too high.
At the Mt. Hood National Forest this past weekend, I saw numerous old campfires with a sign in them, reminding people that they’re illegal. According to federal data cited by the National Park Service, humans cause about 85 percent of all wildfires yearly in the United States.
Most forests in the Northwest are currently in High or Very High Fanger Danger.
Fire Danger Level: High
When the fire danger is “high”, fires can start easily from most causes, and small fuels (such as grasses and needles) will ignite readily. Unattended campfires and brush fires are likely to escape. Fires will spread easily, with some areas of high-intensity burning on slopes or concentrated fuels. Fires can become serious and difficult to control unless they are put out while they are still small.
Fire Danger Level: Very High
When the fire danger is “very high”, fires will start easily from most causes. The fires will spread rapidly and have a quick increase in intensity, right after ignition. Small fires can quickly become large fires and exhibit extreme fire intensity, such as long-distance spotting and fire whirls. These fires can be difficult to control and will often become much larger and longer-lasting fires.