Crews battle grass fires as mercury reaches 106

The hottest day of the year had fire crews chasing down and extinguishing three small blazes along Blackwell Road Thursday.

Jackson County Fire District No. 3 officials were called to Blackwell Road at around 5 p.m. for a report of grass fires burning alongside the road.

Fire engines were on scene within minutes and crews doused three small fires that could have been started by sparks thrown from a vehicle. The cause has yet to be determined, District 3 officials said.

Meanwhile, National Weather Service meteorologist declared Thursday as the hottest day of the year.

The mercury hit 106 degrees, which was one degree from an all-time record on this day that was set in 1988, according to metrologist Marc Spilde.

The triple-digit heat is expected to stick around today, with highs in Medford expected to reach 102 degrees.

However, the Rogue Valley is looking at a break from the intense heat by the weekend, which will see more seasonable temperatures in the lower 90s.

"The lower 90s is still hot, but it will feel like a relief compared to the last few days," Spilde said.

A cloud cover that moved into the area kept the temperatures elevated even at night.

"The clouds act like a lid keeping the heat from radiating outward," Spilde said. "We will have mostly clear skies from here on out, so that will make it cooler at night."

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