Firefighters have to re-visit last summer’s fire scenes, rekindled
Portland, Ore. – July 6, 2018 – Some of last summer’s fires in western Oregon have shown light smoke or small hotspots recently after a dry spring and low snowpack this winter.
Hotspots are not uncommon in heavy fuels like logs and organic duff that can hold heat over winter and flare back up after a period of warm, dry weather. Most of the isolated hotspots are well within the interior of the burned area and pose no threat of the fire escaping containment.
Last month, a small hotspot flared up near Herman Creek on the Eagle Creek Fire. Hotspots are among the known post-fire hazards that have caused area and trail closures to remain in place. Other hazards include fire-weakened trees and loose boulders that can fall on trails at unpredictable times, as well as ongoing rockslides and landslides.
The seasonal outlook suggests a hot, dry summer with elevated fire danger in Oregon and Washington. People are reminded to be vigilant with campfires and observe any local prohibitions due to fire hazards. As a reminder, fireworks are always illegal on federal public lands. Always check that a campfire is stone-cold out before leaving: If it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave.
Visitors are encouraged to contact local offices or recreation sites to “know before you go” if any fire restrictions or closures are in place.