Heat to Bring Little Relief to Raging Wildfires Across the Northwest

The next surge of heat will build into the Northwest this week and will bring little relief to firefighters battling wildfires.

According to AccuWeather meteorologist Josh Searles, "An upper-level ridge currently positioned over Southern California will continue to build across the West Coast allowing the heat to build northward into the Pacific Northwest."

Record-highs will be challenged across the region, especially on Tuesday. Cities within reach of record-breaking heat include Seattle; Portland and Medford, Oregon; and Reno, Nevada.

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High temperatures on Monday will range from the lower 80s F across Seattle to the 90s F in the Willamette Valley.

By Tuesday, high temperatures will be in the upper 80s to lower 90s F across Washington state to the triple-digits in the Willamette Valley.

This next surge of warmth will not be a major surprise to the residents across the Northwest. There have been a large number of days this year where high temperatures have been at least 90 F.

As of August 16, Portland, Oregon has had 24 days this year of high temperatures reaching at least 90 degrees. This ties the previous-record for the number of 90+ degree days in a calendar year from 2009. With a high temperature approaching triple-digits on Tuesday, this record will be broken.

Seattle has already broken its record of 90+ degree days this year. The old record was 9 days back in 1958.

Most 90+ F days this year (Through August 16, 2015)
City, State Number of days City, State Number of days
Medford, Oregon 52 (16 days of 100+) Boise, Idaho 41 (14 days of 100+)
Spokane, Washington 29 Missoula, Montana 24
Portland, Oregon 24 Eugene, Oregon 23
Salem, Oregon 23 Seattle, Washington 12

Anyone with outdoor activities early this week should remember to stay hydrated and wear light-colored clothing to reflect the sunlight from your body. Wear sunscreen to protect yourself from dangerous UV rays.

The best way to beat the heat is to head to the coastal beaches.

This heat, however, will bring little relief to the ongoing wildfire season.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey, "The hot and dry conditions will dry out fuels and increase ignition potential over the region, as well as increase the risk to firefighters of being overcome by heat exhaustion, heat stroke and dehydration."

Over 6.5 million acres have been burned so far this year as of August 14, 2015. This is the most for any year to that date in the past 10 years, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

"The lack of cold fronts or other features that would break the heat means winds will be generally light and predictable," Duffey said.

This will allow firefighters to better contain these wildfires before they spread out of control.

According to the USDA Forest Service, the majority of the wildfires across the United States are located across the Northwest and northern California.

There will be a break in the heat by the end of the week as a shot of cooler, but seasonable, air will move into the Pacific Northwest. No widespread areas of precipitation, however, are expected over the next week.