An early fire season has begun in Portland.
Yesterday, smoke from the S-503 fire clouded the horizon, and now a burn ban has been issued in Portland.
Today, the Multnomah Fire Defense Board issued a ban on outdoor fires in areas of the county west of the Sandy River. The ban goes into effect tomorrow morning and includes campfires, fire pits and yard debris—basically anything that’s not outdoor grilling, though even barbecues should be carried out with extreme caution.
The ban was issued due to a statewide drought and unusually high temperatures.
The Willamette Valley has not recovered from the dry conditions that contributed to last year’s megafires. West of the Sandy River, Multnomah County is currently experiencing severe drought, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center.
Next week’s forecast could make conditions worse. Portland is now bracing itself for another heat wave that has the potential to bring record high temperatures. On Tuesday, the National Weather Service issued a weekend forecast that, while short of the shocking 110-degree temperatures predicted by some models, still has Portland breaking 100 degrees on three consecutive days.
Already, the forecast has canceled at least one event—the St. Johns Farmers Market—and delayed another: The Portland Timbers soccer match on Saturday evening saw its start time moved back from 7:30 to 8 pm to let the evening cool down a bit, KOIN-TV reported.