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Strong Wind, No Rain Leads To Increased Fire Risk In Southern Oregon

<p>Organic wheat in Jackson County, Oregon. Voters in the county chose to ban GMO crops in 2014</p>

Amelia Templeton


Organic wheat in Jackson County, Oregon. Voters in the county chose to ban GMO crops in 2014

Officials in Southern Oregon are warning that strong winds and dry weather will put the region at an increased risk of wildfire for the next two days. 

The alert is in place Tuesday through Wednesday afternoon.  

Shad Keene, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Medford, said the last significant rainfall in the region was 17 days ago. 

While dry and breezy conditions are expected during the fall season, he said a three-week dry spell is extreme. Only about 15% of the region’s fall seasons in the last century have been as dry as this one, he said. 

Keene said the Weather Service is also forecasting wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour in the Cascade Range.

Residents in the area are advised to have their evacuation plan ready and follow local burning guidelines. 

Dry conditions are expected to persist through Nov. 5. 

Copyright 2019 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Rebecca Ellis is a reporter with Oregon Public Broadcasting. Before joining OPB, she was a Kroc Fellow at NPR, filing stories for the National Desk in Washington D.C. and reporting from Salt Lake City.