Rain Dampens Wildfires Set By Weekend Lightning Storms

Aug 11, 2019

The weather system that had the potential to produce numerous fires across southwest Oregon and northwest California came with more precipitation than expected. That rain put a damper on several dozen fire starts across the region and helped fire crews keep them from spreading.

Lightning storms on Friday night and Saturday resulted in about 13 small fires on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. The Forest Service reports the fires were promptly contained and extinguished during initial attack efforts. Most of the starts were located in Jackson County, with a couple located in Josephine County. 

A significant amount of lightning activity was received on the south and east sides of the forest on Friday, but it came with moderately heavy rainfall. Very little lightning activity was received on Saturday, but ther was more rain. Over the weekend, scattered rain averaged 1 inch across the forest at the various weather stations. As of Sunday, there were no red flag warnings or fire weather watches in effect.

In the Klamath National Forest the lightning resulted in about 20 new fires on the Goosenest, Happy Camp/Oak Knoll and Salmon/Scott Ranger Districts. Most of the fires were staffed and less than one acre in size, with the majority being a tenth of an acre. All the ranger districts received significant moisture with these storms.

Temps will increase up to the 90s in the valleys and mid-80s at higher elevations starting on Monday. There is a potential for holdover fire starts associated with the lightning activity as forest fuels dry out. Aerial reconnaissance flights will continue to monitor for smokes as needed, and as weather conditions allow for flight to detect any additional fires that may show today or over the next few days.

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