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Weather

Oregon Sees High Temperatures And Fires As Fire Season Picks Up

Justine Hicks floats with her dog, Kiana, on the Willamette River in Portland, Ore., Monday, July 6, 2015. People and their pets were out in droves in the river trying to keep cool from an extended heat wave with higher than normal temperatures for this time of year. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
AP Photo/Don Ryan
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Justine Hicks floats with her dog, Kiana, on the Willamette River in Portland, Ore., Monday, July 6, 2015. People and their pets were out in droves in the river trying to keep cool from an extended heat wave with higher than normal temperatures for this time of year.

Temperatures climbed into the mid-90s in Portland and the Willamette Valley on Tuesday, and could be up to 105 in parts of Eastern Oregon Wednesday. With wind and thunderstorms forecast for South Central Oregon, officials are warning of potential fire danger.

With high temperatures, dry winds and the threat of thunderstorms in parts of the state this week, Oregon is bracing for another active wildfire season.

In southern Oregon some people are facing “get-set” pre-evacuation orders, after the Sycan River Fire in Klamath County’s Fremont-Winema National Forest grew to nearly 700 acres Monday night. People in the area were still on evacuation stand-by Tuesday afternoon.

A new wildfire started in Douglas County Tuesday night, a few miles southwest of the town of Elkton. The Mehl Creek Fire is not currently threatening any structures, so there aren’t any evacuations in place. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The National Weather Service in Medford has issued a fire weather watch in effect from Wednesday afternoon into the evening, ahead of expected winds and thunderstorms in south central portions of the state.

In the Portland area, the National Weather Service was more focused on high temperatures than flames, as thermometers topped 95 degrees Tuesday, marking it the hottest day so far for the area this year. Forecasts called for continued heat high temperatures in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington into Wednesday, before cooler weather prevails later in the week.

But Eastern Oregon may face the most scorching temperatures in the state, with forecast highs of 103 degrees. The National Weather Service says it could be a record-breaking day for the region.

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