Rare Fire Warning Hits Southwestern Oregon & Northern California

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Wed, January 22 2014 at 6:35 PM, Updated: Fri, January 24 2014 at 9:38 AM

The National Weather Service has issued a rare fire warning for January. It affects people living in Southwestern Oregon down into Northern California. 

Brian Ballou with the Oregon Department of Forestry said the warning means a heightened wildfire risk Thursday and Friday.

The Red Flag Warning is due to the extremely dry winter, plus strong gusty winds moving in.  

If you're planning on a campfire or barbecue, Ballou said you may want to think twice.

"We could potentially get a lot of gusty winds up to 30 miles-per-hour that could really carry a fire very quickly," said Ballou.

According to Ballou, another concern is that they don't have as many firefighters available, since it's not currently fire season.

If a fire were to break out, it would largely be up to rural firefighters to respond.

Ballou said the greatest risk of rapid fire growth is expected in areas above 3500 feet, however the valley floor is also at risk.

For updated information on weather advisories visit the following website: GO.USA.GOV/ZYV5

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About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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