Pony Fire Grows
The Pony Fire is burning on the Klamath National Forest, west of Highway 96 and about fifteen miles southwest of Happy Camp. The fire is burning within the perimeter of the 2001 Swillup Fire. As of Saturday morning, the fire was approximately 1,135 acres and 20% contained.
Warmer temperatures and higher winds caused increased fire activity today, with fire crossing containment lines above the Dillon Creek drainage. Aircraft, using water and retardant drops, worked into the evening to slow the fire’s downhill progression into the drainage.
Crews continued to make good progress reinforcing old containment lines north of Pony Peak and along the 15N19 Road. They have also begun to open an old road around the Crawford Project Area in an effort to lessen the fire’s potential impact on the 1,600 acre forest health and fuels reduction project. If weather conditions permit, firefighters will take advantage of favorable winds and cool temperatures during evening hours to begin strategic firing to further strengthen containment lines.
The fire has held on the southwest side of Swillup Creek, and structures along the Klamath River and Highway 96 have been prepared should fire reach them.
More than 850 firefighters are now working on the fire.
Extremely steep terrain continues to challenge firefighters, and numerous snags and logs from the 2001 Swillup Fire make firefighting extremely hazardous. Burning of dead fuels is driving much of the fire activity on the Pony Fire.
The five-acre Dillon Fire, located west of the Pony Fire, is now 100 percent contained, with mop up completed today. Staff will continue to monitor the area for remaining hot spots.
For the safety of the public and firefighters, a Forest Closure Order is in effect for the area around the Pony Fire. The closure includes Pony Peak Road (14N39), Pony Peak Ridge Road (15N30), Dry Lake Road (15N28) and Bear Peak Road (15N19) from its intersection with Douglas Creek Road (15N24) and continuing west to its end.
More information and maps of closed roads are available at the Klamath National Forest website (www.fs.usda.gov/klamath/).
More information, maps, and closures are also posted on Inciweb athttp://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4769/.