It doesn’t take the test of a magic eight ball to answer this question. All signs point to yes. We’re observing a late season based on the cool and wet conditions this past spring, but we still have about two months of hot and dry conditions. Southeast Oregon already has seen a major wildfire. At the end of June, the Willow Creek Fire burned more than 42,000 acres near Vale.

What a difference a year makes. In June 2021, the Pacific Northwest suffered more than a week of brutally hot temperatures and extremely dry conditions. In June 2022, the Pacific Northwest was cool and wet for most of the month. Obviously, precipitation and temperature extremes during the spring play a role in the summer fire season.

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Mary Wister is a meteorologist and fire weather program manager at the National Weather Service in Pendleton. Wister serves as an incident meteorologist when large wildfires or other natural hazards necessitate an incident management team’s quick response to protect life and property.

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