[UPDATE 11 p.m.] 1000+ Acre Closes I-5; Multiple Structures Reported Burned

A new fire, the Klamathon, burst out on I-5 near the Oregon border north of Hwy 96. Then it jumped the interstate, California’s major roadway. Caltrans is reporting, “Interstate 5 is currently CLOSED northbound at North Yreka (Exit 776) and southbound at Ashland (Exit 14) due to the #KlamathonFire. Crews are diverting traffic near Hilt Road and Bailey Hill Road. THERE IS CURRENTLY NO ESTIMATED TIME FOR REOPENING INTERSTATE 5.”

As of 5:15 p.m. the fire had swallowed 500 acres and was 0% contained. The entire town of Hornbrook, north of Copco Road is under an Evacuation Order. There is also a threat to the community of Henley, according to the ONCC. (For more on evacuations and shelters click here and scroll down to the Klamathon Fire.)

Multiple structures are reported to have burned. One person has received a burn injury, according to the scanner.

UPDATE 6:28 p.m.:
Cal Fire SKU tweeted, “Fire is 1000+ acres and 0% contained with multiple structures threatened. An Evacuation Order is in effect for Klamathon Rd from I-5 to ager and all Hornbrook City all the way to and including Hilt /Colestein Valley.

UPDATE 7:18 p.m.:


Flames roll out from the Klamathon Fire. [Photo tweeted by Cal OES]

UPDATE 8:07 p.m.: According to the ONCC, “Multiple structures have been destroyed. Mandatory evacuations for the communities of Hornbrook, Hilt, and Colstin. Critical infastructure is threatened, including The Pacific Power and Light Substation and the California AG Inspection Station. I-5 is closed in both directions from the Oregon border to the City of Yreka. CAL FIRE IMT-4 (DERUM) has been ordered.”

UPDATE 8:43 p.m.: Cal Fire posted that the fire is now 5000 acres. The Incident Information Page states, “Evacuations in progress for the town of Hornbrook, north of Copco Road. An Evacuation Order is in effect for Klamathon Rd from I-5 to ager and all Hornbrook City all the way to and including Hilt /Colestein Valley. An evacuation shelter is open at the Jackson Street School. Large Animal shelter at Siskiyou Fairgrounds.”

UPDATE 9:47: Governor Brown Declares State of Emergency for Siskiyou Due to Klamathon Fire

UPDATE 10:25 p.m.: According to the Redding CHP, “Commercial lodging is full north of Redding. Motorists heading north are encouraged to stay in the Redding area until the freeway can be reopened.”

UPDATE 11 p.m.” Oregon Department of Transportation tweeted the following, “..Klamathon fire burning both sides of I-5 south of Hilt interchange. No ETA on when I-5 will reopen. I-5 closed SB at #Ashland. NB at #Yreka.”


Klamathon fire burning both sides of I-5 south of Hilt interchange.

“…Klamathon fire burning both sides of I-5 south of Hilt interchange. No ETA on when I-5 will reopen. [Photo from the Oregon Department of Transportation]

UPDATE Friday morning: Klamathon Fire Burns Multiple Structures; CHP Escorting Drivers on I-5



  • My god, this fire season is likely to trap us before it’s done with us.

  • Fire season is startin’ early.
    Unless it rains… wait till late August or September.
    Entire country will be a tinderbox.

  • Time to pray for wonderful rains that put out the fires and slow down the dryness…

    • Problem with rain at this time of year – comes with lightning, and there isn’t quite enough of it to stop the downstrikes from taking hold.
      An early autumn would be welcome.
      Blackberries are already starting to get ripe.
      Quarter of a century ago, they didn’t ripen until August…

      • Concerned Trinity County Resident

        I don’t know where you live but our blackberries are just little green marbles right now.

        • Ernie Branscomb

          I always have a ,”blackberry pie by the 4th of July”. This year I had to settle for a hand full.

          Interesting times indeed!

        • McSlurm~Moose~Knuckle

          Those are Himalaya blackberries, true California blackberries are quite small and some have already ripen,

          • I believe its due to location as well. Inland blackberries seem to be more mature than the coastal. Maybe they are different varieties.

    • Tonight we’re reminded
      of the evil emperor
      Nero Augustus.
      He was the scourge
      of all the Christians.

      What’s a scourge?
      It’s… It’s like when
      somethin’ real bad happens.
      Like when everybody gets killed
      and you can’t do anything about it.
      Like a swarm of locusts.

      For the entertainment
      of his guests,
      Nero would illuminate
      his whole garden
      with bodies of live Christians
      covered in burning oil.
      strung up on flaming crosses, crucified.
      And at dinner,
      he would have the Christians
      rubbed by his guards…
      with aromatic herbs
      and garlic and sewn up into sacks.
      And then they’d throw
      these sacks to the wild dogs.

      Well, that’s terrible.
      – It’s horrible.
      – Terrible’s what it is.

      You know, I just… I can’t
      drink whiskey like I useta could.
      My old belly
      just ain’t no account.

      I get the shits every time,
      don’t you know?

  • Muddy Black Dodge

    Holy $hit!!! That picture of flames, (7:18 update) looks intense!

  • People have to be extra careful during the summer and no off road driving!

  • May all the powers in the universe help these people. Many blessings to firefighters and first responders and the residents. Hoping for rain without lightning.

  • I just looked at the Caltrans Quickmap website at 10:24 PM (7/5/2018). It is not readily apparent that I-5 is closed (without first having read this article on Redheaded Blackbelt). There is no barricade icon to indicate I-5 is closed. One has to click on a little triangle/exclamation point icon, instead. Caltrans could take some lessons on how to communicate road closures from Oregon DOT’s Tripcheck website: https://www.tripcheck.com/Pages/Road-Conditions?mainNav=RoadConditions&curRegion=7

  • Jul 5 2018 12:31PM [3] [Appended, 12:34:17] [2] TREE ON FIRE
    Jul 5 2018 12:30PM [15] [Appended, 12:55:04] [1] RP STARTED SMALL FIRE ON FRIENDS PROPERTY AND IT IS OUT OF CONTROL

    From the chp dispatch.

  • Kym, something has happened to the original post, the beginning got chopped off

  • I love blackberry pie preferably cobbler it’s definitely my favorite it’s the best when you pick the blackberries and they are fresh I think the Mateel should have a big pie eating contest and fundraiser.

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