Officials across the Northwest prepare for what could be a busy wildfire season

With an exceptionally dry May behind us and warmer summer temperatures on the horizon, officials say conditions seem to be lining up for a potentially busy fire season around much of the Pacific Northwest.

The number of fires in the Northwest tends to hang around 3,000 to 5,000 each season, said John Saltenberger, the fire weather program manager at the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center in Portland.

The big question is how many of those will be especially large — one reason why forecasters plan around the potential for large-scale wildfires.

The latest three-month outlook from the forecasters at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise said the Northwest will see normal potential for significant fires through the month. In Southeast Washington and the southern and north-central parts of Oregon, those chances will rise to above-normal in July.

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