Sunday, October 2, 2022
Oct. 2, 2022

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Summer turns up the heat in Clark County

National Weather Service urges caution to avoid starting wildfires

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
3 Photos
Greyson Gravelle, 5, left, and his brother Keegan Gravelle, 8, cool off on a hot Monday afternoon in Vancouver Lake. With temperatures expected to crack the mid-90s, Vancouver denizens flocked to area rivers and lakes for relief.
Greyson Gravelle, 5, left, and his brother Keegan Gravelle, 8, cool off on a hot Monday afternoon in Vancouver Lake. With temperatures expected to crack the mid-90s, Vancouver denizens flocked to area rivers and lakes for relief. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Warm weather has finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest, with highs in the 80s forecast all week long. Monday afternoon reached to the mid-90s. David Bishop with the National Weather Service said that the Pacific Northwest has officially entered the summer season, with consistent high temperatures in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Though temperatures are still more tame than last year’s record-breaking summer heat, Bishop said that we’re still entering fire season, and that everyone should take precautions to avoid outbreaks.

“This is fire season, so there’s always a reason to be concerned,” Bishop said. “We are warming up, we are drying out, and that leads to more favorable conditions when it comes to fire weather concerns.”

Starting July 15, all land clearing and residential burning will be banned in Clark County to prepare for fire season. The fire marshal will rescind all burn permits issued prior to the ban. Permits can be reissued or extended when the ban is lifted.

The burn policy is in accordance with the joint agreement between Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania counties to ban outdoor burning from July 15 to Sept. 30 each year with the intention of having predictable and consistent burn bans. The burning restrictions do not apply to federally managed lands.

Recreational campfires on forest lands are allowed only in designated campgrounds and local, county and state parks. To prepare for possible wildfire outbreaks, Bishop said to pack a go-bag and to get everything ready in advance.

“The best time to prepare for conditions like this was yesterday,” Bishop said. “The second best time is now.”

Despite the hot weather, IQ Air reported Monday that the air quality index in Vancouver is 26, which is listed as good. The main air pollutant is PM2.5, tiny particles in the air that reduce visibility and cause the air to become hazy. Vancouver is currently 1.2 times the World Health Organization’s annual air quality guideline value.

While it is still hot out, Bishop recommends checking on neighbors and pets to ensure community safety.

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with checking in on your neighbors, especially if they happen to be a tad bit more sensitive when it comes to the heat,” Bishop said. “And as always, definitely keep an eye on our four-legged and two-legged family members.”

Columbian staff writer

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