Hot, windy weather raises fire risk

Soaring temperatures will increase potential fire risk, the National Weather Service has reported.

The weather service's Medford office has issued a red flag warning cautioning that high temperatures, low humidity and strong east winds will bring the potential for explosive fire growth now through 11 a.m. Tuesday.

A high-pressure ridge is building over eastern Oregon, causing a strong thermal trough off-shore, explained meteorologist Mike O'Brien. That brings east winds of 10 to 20 mph and gusts of up to 40 mph today and even stronger winds overnight.

He said the dry, warm and windy conditions, even overnight, will give firefighters no reprieve on any active fires.

This weather pattern, which is generally common in September and October, also brings hot temperatures across the region. The forecast calls for a high of 100 in Medford today, but with an overnight low of 46, today's temperature likely will climb around 50 degrees, pushing today's high into the upper 90s. The record for the day is 101, the weather service said.

Tuesday's temperature likely be even hotter, drawing close to the triple digits. The record for the day is 102.

— Anita Burke

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