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CLIMATE: Wetter, cooler summers reduce wildfire threat in Northwest forests

Letter by Ken A. Schlichte, Tumwater on Sep. 30, 2010 at 4:48 pm | 28 Comments »
September 30, 2010 4:48 pm

Re: “Green energy groups protest Centralia TransAlta coal plant” (www.thenewstribune.com, 9-29).

The article about the campaign to shut down the Centralia coal-fired power plant stated that climate change models predict a drier Pacific Northwest that could lead to more wildfires.

These climate change models that are predicting a drier Northwest with more wildfires, however, contrast with the National Climatic Data Center data indicating that the Northwest summer wildfire season precipitation has actually trended upward by 1.15 inches, a 44 percent summer precipitation increase, over the last 10 years.

The National Climatic Data Center data also indicates that Northwest summer wildfire season temperatures have trended downward by 1.52 degrees F. over the last 10 years.

These wetter and cooler summer conditions have reduced the wildfire potential in our Northwest forests.

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