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Weather & Fire Weather

Forecasts, Info & Road Condition Reports

 

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The 2004 Fire Season

The 2004 Hilt Community    Center Fire with photos

The 2003 Fire Season

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Fire Season & Fire Weather Forecasts

Regular Weather Forecasts

ODOT's TripCheck NOAA Weather Forecasts:

National Weather Service:  Southern Oregon & northern California.

Use the search function on this site: Type in (on the upper left, in the navigation bar) "Hornbrook, CA" and get the forecast for Hilt, Hornbrook, and northern Siskiyou County. Type in "Ashland, OR" and get the Ashland, Medford, and southern Oregon area forecast.

You can also use the Pinpoint visual forecast on this page by clicking directly on the map. This gives the most localized forecast for current and 7-day-projected conditions.

 

ODOT/OSP Interstate-5 Road Condition Reports

(Description Report - includes any chain requirements and/or road closures):

SW Oregon - includes I-5 North & South at Siskiyou Summit, & the Mt. Ashland Ski Road.

ODOT's Tripcheck RoadCam map (general region)

Road Cameras: Click on either of the two camera icons just below the "Medford Map" box for the I-5 Siskiyou Summit cameras, or use these links:

For other road reports, travel info, or incident reports, see ODOT's TripCheck Home Page

For Current Road Conditions by phone, call:

1-800-977-ODOT or 1-800-977-6368

Outside of Oregon: 1-503-588-2941

 

 

About Fire Season and Weather

Lightning with and without Rain

Be alert during and after lightning storms for smoke or fires. Lightning strikes can cause fires in slow-burning, heavier fuels or subsurface forest floor duff that sometimes remain unseen for several days before they build into visible fires.

This can be just as true when lightning hits with rain, as without rain, depending on the type of fuel involved.

Rain and Fire Danger

Rain does not remove fire danger: it only lessens it temporarily. In high heat, previously dry light "flash" fuels, (i.e., grasses, surface duff and shrubbery) can become completely dry and flammable again within a day or two.

Why doesn't rain lower the fire danger level?

While the lower temperatures and rain lessens the immediate fire danger on the surface of fuels, it does not change the flammability of heavier fuels, which are significantly drier than average, due to a long dry spell recently, and to several consecutive years of drought previous to this year.

While this has not been "dust bowl drought," it is still recorded as drought, since the annual rainfall totals and snowpack moisture-level totals have remained below average. The cumulative stress upon timber and other trees, shrubs and vegetation, as well as upon ground soils and the water table itself, has produced a fire-prone situation.

Rain does not change this overnight, particularly with regard to larger, heavier fuels. While rain helps limit the spread of fire through flash fuels (lighter fuels, e.g. grasses), duff (the compost-y build-up of leaves and decomposing organic matter on the floor of the forest), and smaller vegetation that dries easily during the heat of a fire, it does not alter the internal flammability of larger fuels. Lightning can easily ignite such fuels; rain merely deters the spread.

Bottom line: During fire season, even with rain, fire danger still exists. Always observe the posted restrictions and remain vigilant, especially during and following thunderstorms.

 

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