PONY FIRE: 600+ Acres Burn in Klamath National Forest

[Note: If you’re looking for the maps, they’re at the bottom of the post.]

Pony Fire

Photo from InciWeb

Somebody asked us this afternoon if anything is on fire. Well, the short answer is yes.

On Tuesday, lightning ignited a fire in the Klamath National Forest. At this point, the incident, which has been named the Pony Fire, has burned over 600 acres.

Here’s a somewhat-brief report from InciWeb (Keep in mind that the information is a few hours old):

Happy Camp, CA—The Pony Fire is located on the Klamath National Forest west of Highway 96. It is approximately 15 miles southwest of Happy Camp, near Pony Peak. The fire was started by lightning early in the morning on June 7, 2016.

Northern California Team Incident Management Team 2 has arrived to assist with fire operations as of this morning, June 9, 2016. A public meeting will be held tonight at 7 PM at the Grange Hall in Happy Camp (64501 2nd Avenue). Team members and Klamath NF staff will provide an informational update and answer questions about the fire.

The fire is currently at about 616 acres, with infrared mapping showing moderate activity overnight.

Firefighters will work today to continue suppression efforts ahead of the main fire. The fire is situated in an old burn area (the Swillup Fire from 2001) and dead and downed trees, with a heavy understory brush component, make many areas dangerous for firefighters on the ground. Efforts are being concentrated currently on opening existing containment lines (from the 2001 fire) and improving and repairing those lines.

Private property and structures along Highway 96 are being evaluated for protection measures. A forest road closure may be put into effect for roads in the fire area to protect public and firefighters safety.

Klamath NF and team personnel will work closely with tribal representatives and local natural resource advisors to protect values at risk during suppression, including threatened and endangered species and important cultural heritage sites.

Here’s InciWeb’s overview:

Incident Overview

There will be a public meeting tonight in Happy Camp at 7 p.m. at the Grange Hall. The Happy Camp District Ranger, local personnel and members of the incident management team assigned to the Pony Fire will be available to give an update, talk about future plans and answer questions.

 

Basic Information

Current as of 6/9/2016, 11:39:55 AM
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Tuesday June 07th, 2016 approx. 02:45 AM
Location Happy Camp Ranger District, one-half mile northeast of Pony Peak. 15 miles southwest of Happy Camp. 17 miles north of Somes Bar. 2.7 miles west of State Highway 96 and the Klamath River.
Incident Commander Klamath National Forest
Incident Description Wildfire

Current Situation

Total Personnel 642
Size 616 Acres
Fuels Involved Fire is burning in litter, dry brush, timber, with heavy dead and down snags from previous fires.
Significant Events Additional resources on order. Fire behavior was morderated by excellent fuel moisture recovery overnight. Heavy dead and down snags from previous fires and steep terrain make access difficult for firefighters on the ground.

Outlook

Planned Actions Improve existing ridge-top dozer lines, provide structure assessment and protection as needed for residents along the river, scout opportunities for suppression actions closer to the fire’s active edge.
Projected Incident Activity Northern California IMT 2 (Young)in-briefed with the Klamath NF this evening and assumed command of the fire at 0600 this morning.

As promised, here are some maps of the incident. Click on the images and they’ll open up the maps. The first one is a PDF that will open in your browser. The second one is a Google Earth Download.

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4 comments

  • Great reporting, and what a good piece of information the fire folks are putting out for us. Which ones, (the Feds? CalFire? Happy Camp FD?) are working this? Be safe, brave ones. And thanks! af

  • “Fire is burning in litter, dry brush, timber, with heavy dead and down snags from previous fires.”

    Too bad for the young trees in the underbrush shown in the picture. IF they survive many will have multiple tops rendering them susceptible to disease later on and wind damage. Sadly most will be killed. More beetle infestations for the stressed survivors. And the cycle repeats.

    I support salvage logging in burned forests……. Yes, leave a few skeletons for the critters. Observe rules for riparian zones.

    Native Americans practiced slash and underbrush burning.

  • Pingback: Smokey Skies From Pony Fire – Redheaded Blackbelt

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