COPCO LAKE, Cali., — Most of the smoke rising on north side of Copco Lake is from firefighters’ efforts to burn out existing vegetation. By burning it in a controlled manner and then following that up with a mop-up firefighters can prevent the Oregon Gulch Fire from threatening the homes on Copco Lake again.
Friday the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office issued an mandatory evacuation for about 30 homes. Most are on the north side of the lake and a few like Herman Spannaus’ is on the south side.
Spannaus says he stayed because he didn’t believe his home or his life was in immediate danger. The former Copco fire chief says the lake acting as a buffer, the type of fire fuel, and the defensible space he has created around his home is why he doesn’t see the Oregon Gulch Fire as a threat right now.