Wildfire Outlook for the Pacific Northwest

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During the past few days, I have received several calls from the media asking about the potential for wildfires this summer over the region. 

They ask:  will this be a major wildfire year with lots of smoke?

There is particular concern about wildfires because of our dry spring.

So let me try to answer this question, using the latest weather forecasts and new insights gained from research on the connection between weather and wildfires over our region.   My analysis will be more nuanced than being provided by some.

Northwest Wildfires Can Be Divided into Three Main Types

There is no such thing as ONE wildfire forecast for the region because the origins of fires differ so radically around the Northwest.  That is why general statements or projections about regional fires are inevitably simplistic and wrong.

As shown below, one can identify three main wildfire areas in the…

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