[UPDATE 11:33 a.m.: One Confirmed Dead] Klamathon Fire Burns Multiple Structures; CHP Escorting Drivers on I-5

Hornbrook burning.

Hornbrook burning. [Photo posted by CHP Yreka 11:44 p.m. on July 5]

After a night where cooler temperatures slowed the Klamathon Fire’s headlong rush, today’s predicted gusty wind and relatively low humidity have firefighters concerned. There is a Red Flag Warning from noon to 6 p.m. today for Central Siskiyou County where the blaze exploded yesterday afternoon.

Cal Fire states the blaze which started yesterday is now at 8,000 acres with only 5% contained overnight. (For the latest information on evacuations and shelters, click here.) Personnel are still evaluating the destruction so far.

CHP-Yreka posted on their Facebook page last night at 11:44 p.m., “Swift destruction of the fire has left many without a home for a few nights and some permanently. I can only hope all have made it out a live.”

Last night, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency for Siskiyou County where the Klamathon broke out yesterday.

However, the cooler overnight temperatures and the direction of the wind has allowed the California Highway Patrol to open I-5 to escorted traffic in both directions. CHP-Yreka said on their Facebook post this morning at 6:06 a.m., 

We are trying to open the freeway at 0630 hours for through traffic only. The communities of Hornbrook and Hilt are still under evacuation orders and no one can exit the freeway into those areas. CHP will be conducting escorts in the beginning to keep the flow of traffic slow due to the presence of firefighters still in the area. Please do not try to circumvent the closure by using Ager Road or SR 263/96, there are hard closures still in effect. As a community, we extend our condolences to all those who have lost everything to this fire.

However, Caltrans District 2 warned at 6:20 a.m., “Although winds are picking back up, the fire is moving away from freeway at this time. But anything can change any minute.”

Below are some scenes from the #KlamathonFire.


UPDATE 9:50 a.m.: Cal Fire SKU tweeted, “CAL FIRE and the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed a civilian fatality. Identification of the deceased is pending further investigation and notification to the next of kin.”

UPDATE 10:18 a.m.: The CHP Traffic Incident Information Page reports, “I5 NB NOW OPEN – NO RESTRICTIONS.”

UPDATE 11:33 a.m.: Caltrans District 2 tweeted, “Interstate 5 is now OPEN without escort between Yreka and Ashland in the area of the . THIS IS FOR THROUGH TRAFFIC ONLY. Highway and fire conditions can change at any time. DUE to downed fences, please watch for livestock. EXPECT MAJOR DELAYS”

UPDATE 11:35 a.m.: Merv George, Jr., Forest Supervisor at U.S. Forest Service- Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, posted on Facebook, “On a sad note…one CalFire fire engine got burned over with one firefighter injured…Weather is expected to be hot and windy today.”

Earlier Chapters:



  • It’s an awful thing to see a home on fire. I hope that they get it contained soon. It seems so fast moving.

  • Whelp, gotta give credit to Kym for covering this. As a Humboldt transplant to Siskiyou County, one of the things this place doesn’t have (unless one signs up for Faceborg) is local news that’s accessible. The local paper is not only expensive, but void of meaningful content, imnsho.

    Thanks for filling in the blanks.

    • Humboldt Co is only slightly better. Well, has more stuff anyway. Can’t really say it’s better.

      • Humboldt = “green ghetto “

      • Every single person i know who moved away all say the one thing lacking other places is good local news. Even up in rural oregon. Especially living out in the hills. We have what 4-5 local news outlets online and at least as many if not more local radio stations with live people on air.
        Personally i think our local news is exceptional especially Kym. Considering everytime theres a fire somewhere else yhe folks from those areas are checking kyms site and thanking her in the comment section, Id say shes doing a kick ass job!!
        Its something we take for granted here and need to cherish.
        The local news may not report on what you want or how you like it but in times of crisis they are all on top of it & are committed to our community.
        Getting up to date info in a crisis is amazing and being able to call a radio station or email a local reporter with updates from your neighborhood when things are crazy is priceless.
        Example, was in So Cal visiting family and saw smoke and fire about 2 miles away. It was windy so looked everywhere online and radio for an hour but found no information I finally just drove to it to see what was going on. I found not one small local online news outlet for the city we were in.
        My familys neighnors didnt even notice the smoke. That freaked me out after going thru fires and made me appreciate how safe our local media helps me feel.
        In the Willits fires they couldn’t call anywhere even 911, or get online. The local radio station was the only link. As was KMUD back in the lightning strike fires! Cal fire spokespeople were able to just stop by the studio and immediately get on air with updates. They talked about how awesome that was as in places like LA they get shock jocks making fart noises while they try to give updates. They found KMUD so helpful that they hired some staff to show other smaller rural areas around the state how to utilize their local radio stations for emergencies and work with calfire.

        Next time you visit another place look for local news. If you dont ever leave here then think about doing so for a few days, it gives great perspective of all the fantastic things we have here that we take for granted! !

        • I certainly don’t take this site for granted. I appreciate it a great deal. Still as far as I can tell local media has otherwise turned away from in depth reporting on local crises on an immediate basis. I know of no other site that does it other than here. If you do, please say.

  • Sorry for those who lost home(s) in this fire. Pray they can get a handle on it before it becomes a monster. Be safe everyone, nothing is worth your life.

  • This is my hometown, a few friends have lost their homes that have been in their family for over 4 generations. Sad day…

  • Any new updates? I have family that’s been affected by this fire. Luckily there house is still standing but almost every house around them has burned down.

  • ““On a sad note…one CalFire fire engine got burned over with one firefighter injured…”
    Your headline says someone died.
    This is all I can find in the article…

    • UPDATE 9:50 a.m.: Cal Fire SKU tweeted, “CAL FIRE and the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed a civilian fatality. Identification of the deceased is pending further investigation and notification to the next of kin.”

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