July 28, 2022 – PNW fire season “to be worse than last year”
What to expect this fire season
Grant County Fire District 13 Chief Jim Stucky said that while this season has been relatively calm so far, it has the potential to be worse than last year. He explained that while to many the unusually high amount of rainfall appeared to be a good thing, it allows grass and other highly flammable vegetation to grow taller than it was last year. While it was incredibly hot, the heat dried it out enough that it did not grow very tall.
“Up until now we’ve been very fortunate,” said Stucky. “But from now on, the potential for some major good fires (is very high) so people need to be extremely careful.”
Robertson echoed Stucky and said that they expect all that extra grass growth to dry out and become highly flammable in the coming weeks.
In the Spring of 2022, the National Interagency Fire Center predicted that parts of the area would have “higher than average significant wildfire potentials May-August” with most of the areas at high risk July-August.
The University of Washington issued a more muted expectation for the 2022 PNW fire season suggesting that the prior year was abnormal.
Sep 17, 2022 – What Actually Happened
Acres burned to date are almost 70% less than the previous year to date.
Northwest Interagency Coordination Center on Twitter: “ICYMI, while the last 20 years have seen increasing wildland 🔥fire activity, this year has been a little different for the PNW. This year we’ve seen 61 fires totaling 469,388 acres. This is nearly a 70 percent drop from 2021 where we saw 84 fires comprising 1,503,027 acres. https://t.co/gsw8S3gWsr” / Twitter
The PNW has begun its fall weather pattern, with early fall rains and much cooler temperatures. We had rain and some lightning yesterday but within a week or two, temperatures will again drop.