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South Obenchain fire 95 percent contained

The South Obenchain fire is nearly contained, but meteorologists fear Southern Oregon’s fire season is far from over.

As of Saturday, the wildfire that ravaged the Eagle Point area and Upper Rogue was at 32,671 acres and 95 percent contained as crews were helped with help from cooler and wetter weather, according the latest Inciweb update. Crews are focused on cleaning up dozer lines and avoiding potential hazards such as mitigating the risk of erosion and landslides and removing trees at risk of toppling over because of burned root structures and heavy, wet limbs.

Meanwhile, another red flag fire weather warning is in the forecast starting this evening, as National Weather Service meteorologists brace for a new round of hot, dry and windy temperatures in the Rogue Valley.

Meteorologist Marc Spilde said shifting wind patterns the warmer, drier weather behind the red flag warning isn’t expected to be as dramatic as the conditions that helped spread the Almeda and South Obenchain fires three weeks ago, but they will be unseasonably warm.

“The pattern’s going to shift to another dry, hot pattern fairly quickly,” Spilde said.

Through Tuesday, meteorologists are watching 10-20 mph winds with gusts up to 30 mph.

Warm temps will last longer, with today in the mid 80s, Monday in the mid 90s, Tuesday nearing 100, and no chance for precipitation

“We’re going to be 20 to 25 degrees above normal temperatures for most of the week,” Spilde said.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

A firefighter inspects a tree for hazards in the South Obenchain fire area. Northeast Interagency Incident Management Team 2 photo.