EUGENE, Ore. -- Red flag fire warnings have been issued in western Oregon, an indication of the perfect weather recipe for fires statewide, the Oregon Department of Forestry said.
High temperatures, low humidity and unstable weather conditions were all factors for the National Weather Service of Portland when they issued the red flag warning for many regions throughout Oregon, including the Willamette National Forest where the Buckhead fire is burning.
While the red flag warning is scheduled to end at 9 p.m. Friday, Karen Swearingen of the Department of Forestry recommended that campers stick to the designated camp sites, and stay prepared for fires.
"If they are driving in a vehicle, have a fire extinguisher or a gallon of water along with a shovel and an ax." Swearingen said.
Inside the city limits Eugene Fire Department officials said that the hot weather brings a spike in heat-related emergencies. District fire chief of EFD Don Vaught said that many of the structure fires they see when the heat rises could have been easily prevented.
He said that barbecue users make sure that the lid is securely on after users are done grilling. For charcoal grillers he asked that they wet the coals and make sure they are cold before disposing of the coals.
Vaught also said that it is important not to throw cigarettes out of the window, especially during this time of year.
"It's amazing how many grass and bark fires that start which quite often lead into structure fires." Vaught said.
Swearingen also warned that there is a higher chance of starting a fire when mowing the lawn between 1 and 8 p.m., the hottest part of the day.
The issued red flag warning also includes the Mt. Hood Natl. Forest, Tillamook State Forest and all Bureau of Land Management controlled lands.