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Lightning possible, heat certain in coming days

Local report

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag alert, with lightning possible throughout Southern Oregon and into Siskiyou County in Northern California. The alert is scheduled to be in effect until 11 a.m. Sunday. The Weather Service says the thunderstorms are likely to be dry through Saturday, but may produce rain Sunday.

Temperatures in the Medford area are expected to remain in triple digits through the weekend and then to climb by midweek to as high as 107 degrees.

Amid the dry and hot conditions, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest  has announced it will impose stricter fire-safety regulations effective July 1 to minimize the risk of wildfire.

Noting that with current conditions, "the potential for human-caused fires is high," the district is placing limits on where fires may be built, where machinery may be operated and where people may smoke.

The restrictions include limiting the building of campfires to Forest Service-constructed fire rings made of concrete or metal and located in designated recreation sites. The use of propane or liquid fuel-powered commercial stoves is also permitted. Smoking is allowed only in vehicles, designated recreation sites, in areas clear of vegetation measuring at least 3 feet in diameter or aboard watercraft on waterways.

Forest officials are warning that fire danger is high in the Wild Section of the Rogue River. They also note that there is no camping or campfires allowed in the Ashland watershed.

The Buckskin fire, burning 10 miles southwest of Cave Junction, is approaching 5,400 acres in size, but is burning primarily within firelines.