High wind and critical fire warnings issued in Greater Portland Area

By Austin De Dios and Gabi DiPaulo | September 7, 2020 6:41pm

Members of the UP community who are located in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington should brace themselves for high winds and fire warnings tonight.

Media Credit: Brennan Crowder / The Beacon

High wind and critical fire warnings have been issued in Northern Oregon and Southern Washington from 5 p.m. Monday until 1 p.m. Tuesday. Members of the UP community located in these areas should be aware of “potentially historic” wind speeds, with gusts ranging 40-55 mph according to the National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Prediction Center. 

According to the NWS Storm Prediction Center, high temperatures and low humidity through the end of summer have combined with incoming easterly winds to create “extremely critical fire weather condition,” centered around the greater Portland area but with effects from Northern California through Bellingham, Washington and Salt Lake City. 

Image courtesy of the NWS Storm Prediction Center on Twitter.

According to the Willamette Week, similar conditions caused the spread of the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge in 2017. 

Residents of the Portland area are cautioned to prepare for power outages and to eliminate anything around their houses that could spark or be a source of ignition. These high winds could potentially bring down tree branches, or even whole trees. The NWS advises those located in forested areas to stay inside and away from windows. Strong winds also result in dangerous road conditions and caution should be used when driving.

The weather may damage lawn furniture, plants and other outdoor objects. Bringing these things inside or under cover might be necessary to protect them from the storm. 

Austin De Dios is the News and Managing Editor of The Beacon. He can be reached at dedios22@up.edu

Gabi DiPaulo is the Editor-in-Chief of The Beacon. She can be reached at dipaulo21@up.edu