Rain Helps With Fires, But Not Drought

RAIN NOAAMEDFORD, Ore. — The rain across the Rogue Valley on Wednesday has been a help for firefighters, but experts warned that the area is still in drought conditions.

Hydrologists said any amount of rain helps, but the drought conditions will persist until there is a more significant, sustained rainfall. They said the snowpack is generally what keeps moisture in the ground throughout the year, but because this year’s snowpack was so low, Wednesday’s rain won’t do much in the long-term.

“This amount of rain isn’t going to pull us out of a drought,” said Spencer Higginson, Hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Medford. “It’s a step in the right direction, it’s always a benefit, but it’s not going to take us out of the drought.

But the rain is good news for crews battling wildfires in our region. The rainfall will help keep fire fuels moist, and could slow down existing fires or help prevent more fires in the next few days.