After Extreme Wildfires, Season Ends Earlier Than Normal

, Posted: Mon, September 23 2013 at 5:31 PM, Updated: Mon, September 23 2013 at 6:26 PM

One of the hottest summers and most extreme wildfires in recent history is over.

Rains are ending fire season weeks early a rarity in southern Oregon.

You would have had to be sleeping under a rock this summer to miss it, record heat and huge fires raged throughout southern Oregon.

"It really felt like an extraordinary hot summer," said Brian Ballou, Oregon Department of Forestry.

Lightning is the cause of 5 major wildfires in southern Oregon that have burned a total of 98,520 acres.

"About every 10-12 years we get a summer like this thats really radically off the charts of normal," said Ballou.

Hot weather conditions also made it difficult to fight the blazes.

"We stacked up very high in terms of temperatures, since 1911 we ranked number 1, we tied with 1967 as the hottest summer on record," said Shad Keen, Meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

One of the main reason's the summer was so hot, the smoke from wildfires kept temperatures blanketed...and warm at night.

Now as the wet seasons approach, areas hit by the fires could soon be flooded or even washed away.

"Heavy saturated water has caused some slumping. People traveling in those areas should be cautious and don't be too shocked to see mud or rocks across roadways in the burned areas," said Ballou.

Ballou is confident that the recent rains have helped cool and saturate the ground enough to end fire season nearly 3 weeks early.

All outdoor restrictions will be lifted at 12:01 Tuesday morning.

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