MEDFORD, Ore. -- As our region climbs into triple digit temperatures so does the risk for wildfires. Firefighters are on high alert. Lightning is the number one cause for grass fires in our region but fires started by people fall closely behind. The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Information Officer Melissa Cano said wildfires tend to take off and burn faster because the fuels are drier. Cano said the term human caused fires encompasses a lot of things and it can vary. It does not always mean someone has intentionally started a fire.
“It could be a power line starting a fire or maybe someone driving a car that might have something faulty going on in their system. One of the second ones is basic equipment use. Equipment use can be everything from people maybe mowing or perhaps doing from sparks admitting from any kind of machinery,” Cano said.
She added another cause is debris burning and wanted to remind everyone it is not allowed.
ODF said when it hits triple digits, firefighters not only have to plan to protect the community from potential fires but also have to keep themselves safe in the heat.
“There's a greater chance of fatigue. So in the ways that we ramp up for the public, we make sure we have extra engines on staff. We shift our work schedules. We go 10-7pm typically instead of coming in earlier. That way we can be ready, if you will, toward that brink in the heat,” Cano said.
Jackson and Josephine counties have moved from low to moderate fire danger. Go here to see the restrictions that come with it.