The 2018 long-range wildfire season forecast for the Northwest is out and shows some varying data for Washington and Oregon. The state of Washington’s snowpack is near or above normal, while Oregon’s snowpack is significantly below normal according to Predictive Services National Interagency Fire Center. This makes the individual wildfire forecasts for the two states rather different.
Forecasters are not expecting sever fires in Washington this year, but they are keeping watch on an area near the Western Columbia River Basin from Ellensburg to Trout Lake. This particular range is drier than normal.
However, with a poor snowpack and above normal winter temperatures, Oregon is already seeing drought conditions. The forests and brush lands are more susceptible to fire starts both from lightning strikes and humans according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NWCC).
It looks as though the Northwest region will enter fire season around June 1, 2018. June, July and August are expected to be warmer and drier than average making for a potential record-setting number of wildfires in 2018.