Hot temperatures have firefighters, emergency dispatch centers b - KPTV - FOX 12

Hot temperatures have firefighters, emergency dispatch centers bracing for wildfires

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(KPTV) -

With temperatures hovering around 100 degrees for the next few days, fire danger across the west is growing by the hour. 

Across Oregon, Washington, Idaho and parts of California the National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for extreme fire danger.

Fire districts across the region are also raising fire danger levels as the mercury rises.

At the Northwest Coordination Center in Portland they are monitoring the changing conditions.

“One fire of interest is the Sheridan fire which started yesterday afternoon.” Carol Connolly said. 

She adds the fire burning near Sunriver has a line around it and crews were making good progress. As of Thursday night it had burned 200 acres. 

Connolly says the state’s largest fire, the Rail Fire in Eastern Oregon, had grown to 28,209 acres and just 20% contained. 

The fire is burning 5 miles west of Unity, Oregon and was fairly active Wednesday afternoon causing several spot fires. 

A public meeting is planned for Friday at 6:00 p.m. at the Senior Center in Prairie City, Oregon.

Connolly says there is concern with the hot temperatures and gusty winds forecast over the next few days. She says no lightning is expected, so they are asking people headed outdoors to be careful.

“With an ignition source, they are predicting a high risk for a catastrophic wildfire,” Connolly said.

Firefighter Robin Winston, who owns C&R Reforestation, says his crews are ready and waiting to head to a fire. 

“We are really only about a quarter of the way through the fire season, you know we still got a long way to go before it’s over,” Winston said.

Winston echoes a message by NWCC, if you are headed outdoors to be extremely cautious, even on the west side of the state.

“Any spark on the ground, you are going to have fire in a hurry,” Winston said. “Especially if we have a 30 mile per hour wind coming out of the Gorge like we have here in Portland area we could have a lot of fire real fast.”

So far the 2016 fire season has been fairly quite in the state of Oregon.

As of August 18, the NWCC reported 21 fires burning 137,483 acres. On the exact same date last year they were reporting 38 fires scorching 603,740 acres.

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