Oregon fire crews prepare for potentially historic season

, Written by Travis Koch, Posted: Mon, May 12 2014 at 2:53 PM, Updated: Mon, May 12 2014 at 8:13 PM

The 2014 wildfire season could be similar to last year-possibly worst as much of Southern Oregon remains in a severe drought.

In 2013, a single night of thunderstorms sparked wildfires which were caught by the wind and spread to devastating measure.

The 2013 wildfire season became the most expensive firefight in a decade and deadly- killing three firefighters in the line of duty plus many more nationwide.

Brian Ballou with the Oregon Forestry Department says the summer conditions are what made the fire so dangerous.

  "The way that it was working, the forests were very dry the wind was blowing, the fires were growing in size. It became very dangerous."

Meteorologist Ryan Sandler with the National Weather Service in Medford says it may be too early to tell the potential for this year's wildfire season, but things are shaping up to be dry.

"Most of Southern Oregon is in severe drought right now and Southern California is much worse. That forecast is going to continue with below normal precipitation through the end of July."

Precipitation levels in June will give fire officials a better idea of what they're facing in 2014. Below is a link to the fire regulations and home maintenance ideas for home owners in all areas to prevent home damage. As of now the fire danger level in the Southwest region are low but that could soon change as expected.

Another factor- the higher regions are expected to dry out sooner as snow levels have failed to produce.

http://www.swofire.com/

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About the Author

Travis Koch

News at Sunrise Co-Anchor Travis Koch started his career as a filmmaker. He wrote and directed documentaries about traveling and extreme sports.

Among his many life experiences, he was a dog musher in Alaska and a baker in Minnesota. Travis began his career at NBC5 News as a weekend photographer and has continued to follow his dreams in television broadcasting and multimedia.

Catch Travis co-anchoring with Jennifer Elliott weekdays on NBC 5 News at Sunrise starting at 5:30am.

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