Oregonians east of the Cascades are already dealing with large wildfires. Today, the National Weather Service issued a warning that they could soon have even more blazes to battle.
A red flag warning has been issued for Central Siskiyou County and Eastern Rogue Valley, where thunderstorms are forecast over a historically dry landscape. Lightning is predicted for tonight and tomorrow, and if it does strike, it could lead to more wildfires.
“Lightning and high fire danger will likely result in new fire starts,” reads the warning from the NWS’s Medford branch. “Gusty thunderstorm winds could contribute to fire spread. Despite rainfall, Initial attack resources could be overwhelmed and holdover fires are possible.”
A large fire is already burning just east of the Rogue River-Siskiyou. The 1,150 acre Cutoff Fire has been ranging on the edge of the Fremont-Winema National Forest since last Saturday. Despite strong winds and spot fires, firefighters have wrangled the blaze into 12 percent containment.
Further north, the S-503 wildfire has consumed 6,200 acres on the Warm Springs Reservation. It’s currently 10 percent contained.