Klamathon Fire Pushing North to the Oregon Border; More Evacuations; One Dead

The Klamathon Fire as seen from the southwest on Black Mountain.

The Klamathon Fire as seen today from the southwest on Black Mountain. [Photo by Warren Hedges who teaches digital imagery at Southern Oregon University]

The Klamathon Fire near the Oregon border ripped through 9,600 acres in the last day killing one person and closing the mighty I-5, a giant vein of traffic flowing north and south across California. The blaze is still only 5% contained.

The fast-moving fire destroyed about 40 structures and damaged five more, according to Siskiyou County Sheriff, John Lopey. The person found deceased hasn’t been identified yet, he said.

Northern California Geographic Area Coordination Center reports,

Evacuations orders remain in place for the communities of Hornbrook, Hilt, Colestin and Irongate reservoir. Critical infrastructure threat includes communication towers, railways, private timberlands and threatened and endangered species habitat within state and national forest lands.”

For more information on evacuations, shelters, and road closures, click here.

The I-5 reopened this morning and has continued moving with only some delays through the area.

To get some idea of the scope of the fire, here is a map that provides a rough approximation of where the fire is and where other fires have burned in the past.

A tanker drops retardant north of the Klamath River. [

A tanker drops retardant north of the Klamath River. [Photo taken from BLack Mountain by Warren Hedges]

The fire is mostly burning in grassland with some areas of timber. Below is a video taken from the air that provides an idea of the landscape.

The good news is that the Red Flag Warning of dangerous fire conditions is no longer in effect for the area. While temperatures should still reach the low 90’s tomorrow, the winds should taper off and the humidity rise which will help firefighters in their battle against the #KlamathonFire.

Air ops on the Klamathon July 6

Dropping retardant on the Klamathon on July 5. [Photo by Mark G. Dibelka]

Note: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced,

CDFW’s Iron Gate Hatchery along the Klamath River, the Klamathon Road fishing access below Iron Gate Hatchery, and the Horseshoe Ranch Wildlife Area north of Yreka between Interstate 5 and Iron Gate Reservoir have been closed to protect public safety. Although closed to the public, CDFW’s Iron Gate Hatchery remains staffed and operational for the time being. Due to the uncertain nature of the fire it is unknown when these areas and facilities will reopen to the public.

UPDATE Saturday: The Klamathon Fire: ‘Expect Extreme Fire Behavior’ Today

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