County & fire officials asking residents to be prepared ahead of heat wave

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – Extreme heat has some fire officials concerned ahead of this weekend.

With temperatures expected to be in the triple digits starting Sunday, the Oregon Department of Forestry is keeping an eye on the forecast.

ODF Southwest said the National Weather Service is not predicting huge wind gusts, but it’s still a concern with the forecasted heat.

“Really what that means for us as firefighters is any fire start we see during that period of time is just going to burn hotter naturally because of that heat,” ODF Southwest spokesperson Natalie Weber. “It’s really just a good to have at the forefront of our mind. It might put up more of a fight or it might grow faster it might want to spread faster cause it has that extra heat.”

ODF Southwest wants to remind people to be cautious with Josephine and Jackson counties at an ‘extreme’ fire danger level.

That means it’s the most restrictions ODF puts in place in order to limit potential human-caused fires.

Jackson County Emergency Management also wants people to be prepared ahead of an emergency.

Right now, wildfire and heat hazards are two major potential emergencies the county wants people to be ready for.

The county said residents should always be informed, have a plan, and make a go-kit.

A go-kit should include all the essential elements you need.

That includes things like cell phones, important documents, water, food, and more.

“It’s extremely important for residents of southern Oregon to be prepared,” Jackson County emergency manager Holly Powers said. “Especially during fire season. I like to see in all reality Jackson County in the start of July is all on a level one. We really should be considering our own personal preparedness.”

Powers said knowing your evacuation zones and signing up for emergency alerts are critical to do before a disaster.

To find out more about emergency preparedness visit ‘’.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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