Weather
11:17 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Unusually Dry Winter Sparks Small Wildfires in Oregon

Several wildfires sparked overnight in the Oregon coast range and Cascade foothills. The National Weather service has issued a rare January Red Flag Warning for the region.

Trina Hartley is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland.  She says strong easterly winds encouraged the small blazes. A few are in the Cascades in southern Oregon But there were also several fires in the coast range.

Hartley: "On the coast in particular it's hard to get a fire started in July so to have these fire starts in January is extremely rare."

Hartley says if the dry weather continues her agency may be issuing further red flag warnings… more than ever in the past. The good news:

Hartley: "Monday or Monday night we get our first chance of rain. Unfortunately it does not look like a lot of rain."

Hartley says the state is looking at potential drought but not as severe as in California.