Like it or not fire season is here, and it's earlier than most would like.
"It's been August before we started seeing our fires. And I think there for a while we were about a month ahead of drying," said Umatilla Forest Fire Management Officer Bob Allbee.
In this week alone there have been more than eleven fires within the region, most of which took place within the Pomeroy Ranger District.
"From the lightning storm Monday morning we've had six so far this week," said Allbee
Despite most regions being at moderate fire danger, officials with the Umatilla Forest believe that that will change as early as next week.
"It has to do a lot with the weather and how the fuels in the forest are drying out, and they've been drying rather quickly," said Allbee. “That's understandable if you consider the fact that we're almost two inches below our average rainfall for this time of year."
"The fine fuels on the floor of the forest, the twigs, the grasses, the leaves, they're dry,” said Allbee. “And that's the primary carrier of what the fire is."
Not all forest fires are preventable, however where those fires spread is within our control.
"Fire wising your home is a good thing, a 30-foot space around your home clear of everything," said Allbee.
The Umatilla National Forest has on average of 25 to 30 fires a year.
Thirty percent of all wildfires that occur within the Northwest are considered preventable. So do your part to keep our forests healthy.