Red flag warning issued for Malheur County

BLM Vale Office. (The Enterprise/file)

The National Weather Service in Boise issued a red flag warning in preparation for “abundant lightning” expected across all districts Thursday afternoon through Friday.

Chuck Redman, fire weather meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Boise, said that the thunderstorms will start out dry on Thursday.

“A good chunk of tomorrow afternoon will not have precipitation,” Redman said, but the weather service anticipates wetting rains through the evening. Redman noted that the county can expect wind gusts up to 50 mph, which will exacerbate any potential sparks.

Tracy Skerjanec, Bureau of Land Management Vale District deputy fire management officer, said the average moisture in range plants at all district sites is 70%, which is normal for this time of year.

“The plants are really, really dry,” Skerjanec.

Skerjanec said the acreage burned so far this year in wildfires is unusually low because area storms have been wet enough to limit the number of fire starts.

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