By: Grace Young
Summary: The wildfires in Oregon have caused tens of thousands of people to leave their homes and many more are ready to leave if needed. The fires have caused residents close to Portland to leave as the fires got dangerously close to the suburbs. At the time of these articles, six people from Oregon had died and plenty of people had gone missing and sadly those numbers were only expected to rise. Splitting Oregon in half the east side is known to be more dry and the west side is normally wetter because of the Pacific Ocean. Areas in Oregon that don't normally have wildfires are burning as those places are “normally too wet.” Climate change has affected precipitation and temperature patterns so the west side is drier than usual. The heat is making the vegetation become dry allowing it to burn easily. The dry vegetation added with temperature, humidity, wind and solar radiation are setting up for a perfect storm as those are key factors to the fire. Oregon was met with the strongest wind that they have seen in the past 30 years. The windstorm carried hot air from the eastern part of Oregon and over the mountains allowing fires to spread into the western part of the state. The air moved through river canyons that compressed the air making it warmer and pushing it faster. This fire was able to move very quickly when that wind met with the dry conditions. Over 1,500 square miles have burned and these fires have caused the air quality in Oregon to be at an all time low. The smoke from the fire covers the state make it difficult to have air tankers come in and other resources that help with control the fires.
Why we should care? I think this is an important topic and that we should care because Oregon continues to burn and some of these fires are another byproduct of climate change.
I found this article interesting because it gives a general overview of the fires and what is happening but also breaks down why it's concerning where the fires are. These fires are affecting people's lives as they are having to move away so that they are safe. The fires on the west side are abnormal as the conditions are normally wetter so they didn't have to worry about fires. Then the article connects those fires with climate change as that is the reason the terrain is different. The article also explains how the wind plays a role on how one of the fires started.
Science in Action.
Philip Mote is Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School of Oregon State University and an active member of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute.
Philip Mote is an active member of Oregon Climate Change Research Institute. Climate change is one of the many reasons some of the fires started. His research is relevant to the wildfires as combating climate change could help to stop the wildfires in the western part of the state. The fires on the western part of the state climate change had an impact on. The western part of the state saw less snow and had hotter than normal temperatures which eventually caused some of the wildfires. Finding ways to combat climate change could help decrease the fires and even give us ways to prevent them in the future.