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Check here for information on fires in our region. You can also check out these resources:Northwest Interagency Coordination CenterSWOFIRE: Oregon Department of Forestry, SW regionCalFire: Current Fire InformationInciWeb: Incident Information SystemOregon Smoke Blog: Smoke informationSouth Central Oregon Fire Management Cooperative (Klamath/Lake Counties & Crater Lake)

Lightning Fires Grow, Danger Raised To HIGH

The flurry of lightning-caused fires from earlier this week continues to keep firefighters employed.  Meanwhile, parts of the region are shifting the official fire danger level to HIGH.

Thunderstorms late Monday and early Tuesday brought hundreds of lightning strikes to Southern Oregon and Northern California.  Firefighting agencies reported dozens of fires, most small and easily controlled.

But the Saddle Fire burning in theShasta-Trinity National Forest covered 992 acres by Friday afternoon, and forced evacuation notices in Trinity County.  The Red Cross set up an evacuation center at Hayford High School.

On the Oregon side, the largest active fire is the Buckskin fire, burning in the Kalmiopsis wilderness of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, about ten miles from Cave Junction.  Friday morning reports placed the size at roughly 100 acres.  Rough terrain, weather, and burn scars from earlier fires delayed crews from attacking the fire.

Meanwhile, the Oregon Department of Forestry raised the official fire danger from moderate to high starting Saturday.  The action places additional restrictions on the lands ODF protects in Southwest Oregon.

The weather is expected to stay hot and dry through the weekend.

Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for more than 35 years, working in both television and radio.