Weather plays a huge part in firefighting efforts, so as crews are attacking fires across the Inland Northwest fire officials are working with the National Weather Service to determine how to best attack those fires.
Predicting accurate weather forecasts can be a matter of life and death for both firefighters and people who live in the danger zone.
“These fire crews are always staying in touch with what the latest weather conditions are, when we go out to the fires that's our primary job is to let them know what kind of weather to expect,” Incident Meteorologist Jonathan Fox said.
Fox isn't a firefighter but his role as a meteorologist is an important piece of the puzzle to containing a wildfire.
“I'm sent to wild fires when team of fire management officials request our services,” he explained.
Fox's focus has been on the Spokane Complex fire since the three fires started Sunday afternoon. He says Sunday's hot temperatures, high winds and low relative humidity made a good combination for a bad fire. With temperatures dropping by over 15 degrees Monday, he's hoping firefighters can make progress.
“We aren't expecting real critical winds, or real strong winds anytime in the near future, and the temperatures aren't going to get hot,” Fox said.
Even then, we aren't in the clear just yet and, in the coming days, fire crews statewide will continue to turn to the National Weather Service for help.
“The winds which have been southwest for yesterday, today and tomorrow are actually going to turn to the northeast and whether or not that causes problems or that we have to be watching for that,” Fox said.
A lot of people have been asking about air quality and Fox said we are sitting close to the moderate range throughout the day Monday but air quality should really improve by Tuesday.
VIDEO: NWS Meteorologist Jonathan Fox talks about supporting firefighting efforts