- Title: Extreme heat scalds Christmas trees crops across Oregon
- Date: 22nd July 2021
- Summary: OREGON CITY, OREGON, UNITED STATES (JULY 21, 2021) (REUTERS) WIDE SHOT OF HEMPHILL FARM VARIOUS OF BURNT CHRISTMAS TREES (2 SHOTS) MEDIUM SHOT OF FARM OWNER JACOB HEMPHILL (SOUNDBITE) (English) JACOB HEMPHILL, OWNER OF HEMPHILL TREE FARM, SAYING: "The second day of the heat, it was 116. I came in the driveway that night and seen the trees were basically cooking. Burnt down to nothing." PAN OF CHRISTMAS TREES WIDE SHOT OF BURNT CHRISTMAS TREE TIGHT SHOT OF BURNT CHRISTMAS TREE HEMPHILL CROUCHING OVER A SEEDLING (SOUNDBITE) (English) JACOB HEMPHILL, OWNER OF HEMPHILL TREE FARM, SAYING: "It'll affect us a lot. I mean, I'm a farmer 365 days a year, that's how I make my income, so if I can't sell Christmas trees, I really don't really put food on the table for my kids. So it's a tough deal." VARIOUS OF BURNT CHRISTMAS TREES (3 SHOTS) TIGHT SHOT OF HEMPHILL CROUCHING OVER A SEEDLING (SOUNDBITE) (English) JACOB HEMPHILL, OWNER OF HEMPHILL TREE FARM, SAYING: "Nothing you can really do. I mean, you just kind of got to roll with the punches. And replant next year and plant a few more and hopefully make up for the loss that we're gonna have in the future the 8, 9 years from now when the trees were going to be mature. That's when they really see the problem." VARIOUS OF BURNT CHRISTMAS TREES (2 SHOTS) WIDE SHOT OF SUN AND FARM (SOUNDBITE) (English) JACOB HEMPHILL, OWNER OF HEMPHILL TREE FARM, SAYING: "Usually our weather's pretty fair. You know, warm summers. Usually it's 80 this time of year. 85. And they can handle that. 90. But the big loss is usually in August, you know, September when it's been dry and hot for a long time. But, this year with that heatwave, I mean, it just wiped 'em out." WIDE SHOT OF BURNT SEEDLING WIDE SHOT OF BURNT CHRISTMAS TREES (SOUNDBITE) (English) JACOB HEMPHILL, OWNER OF HEMPHILL TREE FARM, SAYING: "We're in, you know, Christmas tree country and that's - we just roll with the punches, you know. We got good years. We got bad years. We plant the trees. They die. We replant the trees. Sometimes they die again. You replant em again. That's all you can do. When you're faring, you just do what you gotta do to keep going." WIDE SHOT OF BURNT SEEDLINGS TIGHT SHOT OF CHRISTMAS TREE
- Embargoed: 5th August 2021 12:23
- Keywords: Christmas trees Hemphill Tree Farm Oregon wildfires
- Location: OREGON CITY, OREGON, UNITED STATES
- City: OREGON CITY, OREGON, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,United States,Wildfires/Forest Fires
- Reuters ID: LVA001EMXAC07
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The Christmas season may look a little different in Oregon this year as extreme heat and wildfires continue to rage across parts of the state, including Jacob Hemphill's Christmas tree farm.
Hemphill, the owner of Hemphill Tree Farm, estimates that he's lost over of one hundred thousand dollars in Christmas trees this year as a result of the recent heat dome event, which saw temperatures of 115 in some parts of the Portland metro area.
The losses will take a toll on his family this year, Hemphill said. But he has hope things will improve next year.
Beyond Christmas trees, Reuters spoke to several farmers across the Willamette Valley who said the heat wave earlier this year damaged their crops to unprecedented levels.
The so-called Bootleg fire has blackened 388,600 acres (157,260 hectares) of desiccated brush and timber in and around the Fremont-Winema National Forest, about 250 miles south of Portland, since erupting July 6. Only three other Oregon wildfires over the past century have burned more territory.
At least 67 homes have been destroyed and another 3,400 were listed as threatened, with an estimated 2,100 people under orders to evacuate or be ready to flee at a moment's notice.
The western conflagrations, marking a heavier-than-normal start of the wildfire season, have coincided with record-shattering heat that has baked much of the region in recent weeks and caused hundreds of deaths.
Scientists have said the growing frequency and intensity of wildfires are largely attributable to prolonged drought and increasing bouts of excessive heat that are symptomatic of climate change.
The Bootleg fire is so large that it has at times generated its own weather - towering pyrocumulus clouds of condensed moisture sucked up through the fire's smoke column from burned vegetation and the surrounding air. These clouds can spawn lightning storms and high winds capable igniting new fires and spreading the flames.
(Production: Deborah Bloom, Vanessa Johnston)
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