Firefighters monitoring potential smoke, fires across Rogue Valley following lightning storm

ROGUE VALLEY, Ore — Firefighters across much of Jackson county are closely monitoring potential smoke and fires after Tuesday’s lightning storm.

Oregon Department of Forestry and Jackson County Fire District Three responded to multiple reports of smoke and fires Tuesday evening.  The largest out of the five confirmed, was the Sweet Lane fire near White City.

Crews were able to contain the fire to about three quarters of an acre. Despite the rain however, the fire was progressing quickly.

“When the [storm] cell came down through  the valley, we experienced some strikes that resulted in isolated fires,” Mike Hussey, Deputy Chief with FD3, told NBC5 news. “Pretty fortunate that we didn’t have more [fires] for how much lightning that came through.” 

Fires can often ignite in areas struck by lightning weeks after. ODF is watching for smoke through their detection cameras and crews on the grounds.

ODF Southwest District reports that 80% of fires started this year are human caused.

With temperatures expected to soar past 100 degrees this weekend, firefighters urge the public to be extra cautious and to call 911 to report any smoke.

“Be aware of that increased risk around you, and let us know,” Natalie Weber, Public Information Officer with ODF said. “The faster we know about it, the faster we can get there to extinguish it.” 


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