There hasn't been a lot of great news this month. The 36,000-acre Eagle Creek Fire is still just 13 percent contained.
But the Gorge and the firefighters stationed there, are about to get a big win:
The National Weather service says its going to start raining on Sunday, but they're not sure what time yet. Either way, we're supposed to see on-and-off rainfall through Tuesday or Wednesday—and it's going to be enough to help calm the Eagle Creek Fire.
"It should definitely bring relief to the Eagle Creek Fire. I hesitate to say it'll put it out, but it will certainly help firefighters," says meteorologist Colby Neuman. "We'll see what we call 'wetting rains.' That's more than a quarter of an inch of rain, and that's enough to be able to get into the forest and soak into the ground. It's good for toning down fire activity and bringing some relief in that regard."
It's about to get a lot colder, too. Monday and Tuesday highs are in the low 60s, "and that may even be a struggle," Neuman says, noting that he wouldn't be surprised if we see highs in upper 50s.
"It's quite the change," he says. "All of a sudden—bam—here's fall."
Neuman says Portland may end up seeing 1-2 inches of rain total, with the potential for more. We're also going to see snow levels dropping to 5500 to 6000 feet, meaning we'll see a fresh coating on our volcanoes.
The last time Portland saw any significant rain was in mid-June, when we saw half an inch of rain. Before that, the last big rain event we had was in late April, when it rained over an inch.
What really matters though, is reaching that half inch, "basically to make sure enough rain falls and that it actually gets to the ground and soaks in," Neuman says.
Bring it on.