Due to the fires that ravaged many of Oregon's forest lands this summer (as well as Washington), the normal ground cover and trees that help secure the soil and prevent erosion are gone. That means our recent downpours could trigger deadly landslides.

Although most of them will be in rural or less populated areas, Oregon wildlife officials say the slides can seriously damage the topography and prevent trees and ground cover from returning normally.

According to the Oregonian and KEPR-TV:

"Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries information officer Ali Ryan Hansen says people in eastern Oregon should be thinking about the landslide hazard as they go about daily activities.

Intense rainfall is a common landslide trigger. The National Weather Service in Pendleton is forecasting a chance of rain or snow every day this week and as much as 2 inches of precipitation in the mountains." (Bold lettering added for emphasis).

The wet rainy weather for much of Oregon and Washington as well is expected to continue through much of December, with warmer than average temperatures adding to the issue. Normally most of these areas are covered by a stable blanket of snow, but too much rain will just eat away at the soil.