NWS & ODF partnering for fire season

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

Medford, Ore. —  In Wednesday’s Fire Danger Red report, a storm is making its way through the region and it’s bringing the potential for fires. The storm began passing through the Rogue Valley this afternoon. With thunderstorms, comes the potential for lightning. Which is why when storms, like Wednesday’s, come through – it’s all hands on deck from fire agencies and the National Weather Service.

“We work closely with them leading up to fire season to help determine when we’re going to start it. We work with them throughout the season to determine their fire danger level – and of course at times, like this,” said Melissa Cano, Oregon Department of Forestry.

Times like this, when experts are tracking a storm that could bring lightning to the area.

“Keep them informed especially when the lightning begins where they can expect to see some fire starts are possible,” said Brian Nieuwenhuis, NWS Medford Meteorologist.

“They’re helping us monitor the lightning, we’re in turn in contact with them the whole time,” Cano said.

ODF said if there is a fire – NWS is there to provide the info they need to fight it.

“Give us a forecast for that fire at a given location and give us extreme detail that will help our firefighters on the ground be successful,” Cano said.

“We give them a briefing everyday through the fire season and they can call us anytime so we’re in constant contact with them,” Nieuwenhuis said.

It’s a partnership that benefits the community, and firefighting crews.

“Weather is hard to predict, it’s hard to get straight on – but they do such a great job of getting so close that it provides our firefighters the best chance for success,” Cano said.

As of Wednesday, the region’s fire danger level is at low. However, ODF said there’s a good chance it will be moved up to moderate within the next week. Stay with NBC5 News for all the latest Fire Danger Red reports.

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