Klamathon Fire at 55 Percent Contained

Jul 11, 2018

Klamathon Fire incident map on July 10, 2018.
Credit Cal Fire-Siskiyou Unit

UPDATE at 8:15 a.m.: Cal Fire via Twitter reports that the Klamathon Fire is now 60 percent contained and still at 36,500 acres. Evacuations are in effect. Check out their update here

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The Klamathon Fire is spreading across the California-Oregon border, but Cal Fire reports that it is now 55 percent contained. The fire has scorched over 36,000 acres and destroyed 82 structures so far. Three firefighters were injured and one person has died. Cal Fire’s incident report says that over a thousand structures remain threatened.

Cal Fire Cheif of Operations for Team 4, Mark Brown, spoke at a press conference in Yreka on Tuesday. He said their crews held their fire lines despite strong winds earlier this week.

"Today we had a very good day. The lines held all the way through the incident," Brown said. "We did have a little bit of a flare up yesterday and it was caused by the winds. But we had crews right there. We had lines that were being constructed and when that happened they were able to call in helicopters. They were dropping water right on that hot spot." 

Brown further stated that crews are feeling better about weather conditions and a lack of heat in the last few days. However, officials with the National Weather Service noted during the conference that the Siskiyou area will have an excessive heat watch starting Thursday this week. A slight chance of thunderstorms is also expected this weekend, which may bring lightning but not a lot of moisture to the region. 

Cal Fire Behavioral Analyst for Team 4, Tim Chavez, said they face fine fuel challenges like grasses and brush on the slopes of the mountains.

"That means that they are very prone to spot fires so we're really keeping an eye on those, where the crews are working. We're very aware of the hazards in those areas," Chavez said.

Evacuation orders have been lifted in areas like Hornbrook, Hilt and in the Klamath River Country Estates, but Fire personnel are still active in the region. Officials ask that people reduce speeds and drive with caution. Additionally access to the area is limited to residents only, with no other public access granted.

Evacuation warnings are in place for the Copco Lake Area-east of Jenny/Fall Creek, areas directly south of the Oregon State Line, areas north of Copco Road, and areas west of Topsey Grade. Areas in Jackson County Oregon are also threatened as strong winds surface this afternoon.