Lightning fires flare as summer roars back

Fire crews tackled a handful of small fires in the Applegate Valley sparked by a Wednesday evening lightning storm.

Most of the fires, which were spread between Mount Ashland and the Applegate Valley, were easily dealt with, according to Oregon Department of Forestry spokesman Brian Ballou.

"Most of them were held to about a quarter of an acre," he said. "There wasn't anything that became to much to handle."

Ballou said crews would monitor the valley today for any spot fires that may pop up as they day heats up.

"We'll keep our eyes open," he said. "Invariably some will creep up after the storms and the ones that may happen tonight."

The National Weather Service is predicting a 20 percent chance of more thunderstorms tonight before 11 p.m.

The lightning storm followed one of the warmest days of the summer.

The Medford airport thermometer crept up to 103 degrees Wednesday, marking only the second day of triple-digit heat this summer. The other 100-degree day came way back on July 10, when 105 degrees seemed to suggest a scorching summer to come.

Wednesday's heat also set a record for Aug. 29, breaking the 102-degree mark set in 1987.

Forecasters were expecting temperatures to drop back into the high 80s in time for the Labor Day weekend.

A string of unseasonably hot weather in late May and early June pushed temperatures into the mid-90s. Temperatures on July 4 and 5 hovered around 98 and 99, and August opened with a 98-degree day.

Share This Story