Forest Service preps for lightning in southwestern Oregon

Fire Season 2019: For the latest updates on fires buring in our region, go here: Fire Season 2019.

MEDFORD, Ore. – The U.S. Forest Service is poised and at-the-ready to respond to any wildfires that may start as a result of predicted lightning activity this week.

A request for nearly $250,000 was granted in a ramp-up of resources in southwestern Oregon. The funding allowed the USFS to nearly quadruple the number of engines in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in anticipation of the weather system, which is expected to hit the area Wednesday.

“The good news is our fuel moistures are currently in the low to moderate range due to recent precipitation. The bad news is the lightning storm will follow on the heels of some pretty extreme hot temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday, and those temps will dry the forest fuels out,” said Fire Staff Officer Eric Hensel.

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest resources will include 29 engines, three water tenders, four 20-person hotshot crews, two heavy helicopters, and a fixed-wing plane.

Crews will be staging at the USFS nursery in west Central Point.

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