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Red Flag Warning for Oregon Coast Range, Beach Hazard Warnings from NWS

Published 08/11/21 at 5:49 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Red Flag Warning for Oregon Coast Range, Beach Hazard Warnings from NWS

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(Lincoln City, Oregon) – Heat wave and fire dangers are touching on the edges of the Oregon coast with a new red flag warning Wednesday, and at the same time the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued warnings about cold water and ocean dangers at the Oregon coast.

A red flag warning is in effect from 11 a.m. Thursday to 10 p.m. Friday for the entire Oregon Coast Range as well as the Cascade Foothills and the Willamette National Forest. The NWS said there are significantly unstable conditions that could spark fires or greatly enhance one that has started in those regions – which includes forestlands just outside of Tillamook, Lincoln City, Yachats, Florence, Manzanita and Cannon Beach.

“Conditions may be favorable for rapid spread on any new or existing fires. Extreme fire behavior is possible under potential plume dominated behavior,” the NWS said. “Pyro-cumulus and pyro- cumulonimbus activity is possible. Outdoor burning is not recommended.” See Beach Fire Bans Official on Most of Oregon Coast, Other Restrictions  beach fires have been banned everywhere from Lincoln City southward

The NWS also issued a special weather statement for the Oregon coast, saying beachgoers should be beware of cold ocean water and other beach hazards.

The warnings come as many will seek refuge from the massive heatwave along the Oregon coast, and the NWS told Oregon Coast Beach Connection that “something always seems to happen” when these kinds of visitor numbers are seen.

“Some are not familiar with Oregon`s normal beach hazards, including but not limited to rip currents, sneaker waves and cold water temperatures,” the NWS said. “High beach visitation rates occurred during the June heatwave, and resulted in increased rescue rates and deaths.”

Temperatures along all 360 miles of Oregon coastline are between 50 and 60 degrees about now, the NWS said. This will impact the body much more severely than changes in air temperatures, which can lead to loss of breathing control, heart and blood pressure problems, and a high risk of suddenly drowning.

See Oregon Coast Weather - Washington Coast Weather

100-Degree Temps Headed for SW Washington, NW Oregon - Coast Mostly Cool A fair amount of wildfire smoke haze will hit farther south

“Therefore, residents and visitors who are planning to seek relief at the beach from the excessive heat inland, should stay very informed and aware of ocean hazards, wear a wetsuit and/or life preserver if going out or in the ocean, and if possible, stay near a lifeguard.”

Rip currents are another serious possible danger. These are powerful currents of water moving away from shore that can engulf even the strongest swimmer and whisk them away.

“If at all possible, swim near a lifeguard,” the NWS said. “Don't swim against the current directly to shore, swim along the shoreline until you escape the current's pull.”

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Fire on a hillside near Oceanside last, courtesy Oceanside - Netarts Fire District

Bandon's Face Rock, courtesy Manuela Durson

Cape Sebastian, Gold Beach, courtesy OPRD


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