The High Cascades and Siskiyou Mountains of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest were hit hard by a powerful thunderstorm that produced a lighting show across Jackson County and ignited fires during a time when officials warned fire danger was extreme.
Medford — Saturday's thunderstorm activity ignited 41 new fires on the High Cascades and Siskiyou Mountains of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Thirty-two of the new starts occurred on the High Cascades Ranger District, principally in the Fish Lake area and north of Union Creek. Nine fires on the Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District are generally located along the Siskiyou Crest in the Dutchman Peak area. Aerial fire observers and lookouts continued to pick up new smoke throughout Sunday and expect additional starts to be spotted over the coming week.
The fires are being fought according to the fire activity and accessibility by a variety of resources including local Forest Service personnel, rappelers, smoke jumpers, contract engines and crews, helicopters and an air tanker. Additional firefighting resources, including an interagency hotshot crew arrived Sunday. All fires located in the forest that started earlier in the week have been contained.
A red flag warning was been issued by the National Weather Service for abundant lightning across the Siskiyou Mountains and Southern Oregon Cascades through 11 p.m. Sunday.
Fire danger throughout southwest Oregon remains extreme and the public is urged to follow the restrictions in place on both public and private lands and use caution with all flammable material.