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MailTribune.com
  • Crews battle grass fires as mercury reaches 106

  • The hottest day of the year had fire crews chasing down and extinguishing three small blazes along Blackwell Road Thursday.
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  • The hottest day of the year had fire crews chasing down and extinguishing three small blazes along Blackwell Road Thursday.
    Jackson County Fire District No. 3 officials were called to Blackwell Road at around 5 p.m. for a report of grass fires burning alongside the road.
    Fire engines were on scene within minutes and crews doused three small fires that could have been started by sparks thrown from a vehicle. The cause has yet to be determined, District 3 officials said.
    Meanwhile, National Weather Service meteorologist declared Thursday as the hottest day of the year.
    The mercury hit 106 degrees, which was one degree from an all-time record on this day that was set in 1988, according to metrologist Marc Spilde.
    The triple-digit heat is expected to stick around today, with highs in Medford expected to reach 102 degrees.
    However, the Rogue Valley is looking at a break from the intense heat by the weekend, which will see more seasonable temperatures in the lower 90s.
    "The lower 90s is still hot, but it will feel like a relief compared to the last few days," Spilde said.
    A cloud cover that moved into the area kept the temperatures elevated even at night.
    "The clouds act like a lid keeping the heat from radiating outward," Spilde said. "We will have mostly clear skies from here on out, so that will make it cooler at night."
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