Growing wildfires threaten Oregon

During the driest spells of the summer months, the risk of wildfire is high. In Oregon, state officials have declared that the fires burning in Rowena are the most dangerous in the nation.

"Of all the fires burning in the U.S., this is the one that poses the biggest threat to life, property and resources," Dave Wells, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry, told Oregon Live.

According to the news source, the fires now cover more than 3,300 acres and may be threatening as many as 740 homes. Already, residents of about 150 homes have been asked to evacuate. One has been completely destroyed, while several others have been damaged.

Almost 660 firefighters are working around the clock to contain these blazes, but reports show that so far they have only managed to contain about 35 percent of the fire. 

"They'll try to catch the fire before it gets to the structures up there," Wells added. "Firefighters will work amid the homes, one by one."

However, they will also have to contend with many factors outside of their control. Reports show that temperatures are expected to remain in the mid-80s, which will help maintain the dry environment that fuels the flames. What's more, high winds are expected to push the fire outward, making containment even more difficult.

Though wildfires themselves are often unpredictable, wildfire season is less so. It is possible to use weather forecasts to predict when fires are most likely to strike, which homeowners can use to protect themselves and their property. At the same time, insurers should implement a single valuation system capable of providing accurate replacement cost estimates for residential and commercial property, as well as farm and ranch structures.