NWFSC Research Brief #24 - Wildfire Risk in Western Oregon and Washington

TitleNWFSC Research Brief #24 - Wildfire Risk in Western Oregon and Washington
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsConsortium, NWFire Scien
Date Published01/2022
Keywordsresearch briefs

The wildfires that ignited September 7-9, 2020 (collectively named the “Labor Day Fires”) on the west side of the Oregon Cascades (Westside) were a devastating reminder that these communities and forests are at risk from wildfires. The fires collectively burned more than 2.2 million acres, caused fatalities and billions of dollars in damage, placed more than 10% of the state’s residents under evacuation advisories, and created hazardous air quality conditions across the northwestern US. The fires left researchers, practitioners, and local residents questioning how to better expect and prepare for similar events in the future. The three articles summarized in this brief focused on the challenges of understanding and communicating about wildfire surprises and risk in Westside systems, and how to better predict where similar events might happen in the future. A fourth article summarizes the key meteorological drivers behind the Labor Day fires.