Fire danger not only concern as temperatures rise, officials say

The two dangers that pop up this time of year are backyard burning that gets out of control and cold water.

Posted: May 10, 2019 8:40 PM

VENETA, Ore. -- The Willamette Valley saw nearly 90 degree weather on Friday, and with the weather came concerns, and not only of fires. 

Chief Terry Ney with Lane Fire Authority said the two dangers that pop up this time of year are backyard burning that gets out of control and cold water.

RELATED: WILDFIRE SEASON SET TO BEGIN EARLIER THIS YEAR, EXPERTS SAY

"Yesterday afternoon for example we were seeing temperatures in the high 80s. Winds were running up to 20 miles an hour. It looked like ocean conditions out of Fern Ridge Lake there were so many white caps, and humidity was down in the high teens," Ney said.

A temporary burn ban in place, which means it'll vary week to week, but Ney said we should prepare for a long wildfire season.

MORE: BURNING BANS IN PLACE AS FIRE DANGER RISES

With the approach of summer, water activities like boating become more and more common.

Ney said these activities pose unique dangers because even though it's hot outside, the water is still cold. 

"Look at the rest of the lakes and reservoirs and rivers especially here in Lane County, and the water's gonna be even colder, so the lesson for that is even though it's nice and warm in the air this water can cool you off really fast," Ney said.

He said once someone falls in frigid water, it only takes a few minutes for the effects of hypothermia to set in.

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