Fire Season & Fire Weather Forecasts
Regular Weather Forecasts
ODOT's TripCheck NOAA Weather Forecasts:
National Weather Service:
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):
Oregon - includes I-5 North & South at Siskiyou Summit,
& the Mt. Ashland Ski Road.
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,
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
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