New fire limits set

New restrictions on campfires, smoking and vehicle use in national forests have been imposed today to protect the woods from extreme fire danger.

Campfires are allowed only in designated camping sites and in Sky Lakes and Rogue Umpqua Divide wildernesses.

Smoking still is permitted inside vehicles, boats and cleared campsites.

Vehicles are allowed only on roads, parking lots and designated off-road trails.

An extreme fire condition rating means that fires can start quickly, spread furiously and burn intensely, said Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest spokesman Patty Burel. High temperatures, dry weather and a risk of lightning have firefighters on high alert through the weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch effective from tonight through Sunday. It warns that a low-pressure system moving in along the Northern California coast will bring southwest winds and moist, unstable air that could cause thunderstorms.

While some of the storms could bring heavy showers, they also offer a chance of lightning in areas where dry vegetation is abundant.

— Anita Burke

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