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Fire Risk

Icon of camp fire.

Fire activity is strongly linked to summer climate, with the largest fires occurring exclusively in warm and dry summers.​

The most obvious impact of climate change in the west in recent years has been fire. 

Recent catastrophic fires in California and major wildfires in Oregon highlight the vulnerability of the state to increasing wildfire in a warming climate.

Icon of forest fire and smoke.
Icon of thermometer.

Warm, dry summers are associated with higher area burned. 

Large fires increased in the western US from 1984-2011 in a warming climate and human-caused climate change was responsible for the increase in area burned in forests in the western US from 1984-2015.

In a changing climate, fire activity in Oregon will continue to be influenced by warming temperatures and longer fire seasons. More frequent fires could be expected even in the wet western third of the state. The largest increases in the frequency of extreme fire risk are in the eastern third of Oregon and in the Willamette Valley.


This figure shows the projected change in extreme fire risk days. 

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