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Fire crews responding to 320-acre wildfire in Klamath County

The Marsh Fire is located about 20 miles northeast of Chiloquin, according to fire officials.

Posted: May 29, 2020 2:14 PM
Updated: May 29, 2020 4:59 PM

CHILOQUIN, Ore. — Fire crews are responding to a wildfire about 20 miles northeast of Chiloquin in the Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. The fire was likely caused by lightning strikes overnight.

The Marsh Fire is now estimated at 326 acres, according to the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP). Flames are currently burning through tules and cattails within the marsh area.

Fire managers are using a drone known as a UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) to help monitor fire activity and accurately map the fire.

"We're using a point source protection strategy to contain the fire due to it's location," said Klamath Basin NWRC fire management officer Jeb Koons. "Crews will be utilizing the green meadow grasses to the east and west of the fire, and also the Silver Lake Hwy to the north of the fire as containment lines. The anticipated precipitation tomorrow will help with our suppression efforts."


RELATED: Fire Season begins June 1 for Klamath and Lake counties


The Klamath County Sheriff's Office and the Klamath County Road Department have reportedly been notified of possible impacts to traffic on the Silver Lake Highway, with expected delays of 20 to 30 minutes.

"As always firefighter safety is of the utmost importance so consider alternate routes if possible," SCOFMP said.

NewsWatch 12 reached out to the Oregon Department of Forestry on Friday morning following overnight thunderstorms. An official listed only one known fire start — in U.S. Fish and Wildlife territory at the Klamath Marsh Refuge. No other details were available at that time.


EDIT: Article updated to reflect the latest SCOFMP estimate of the fire's size using UAS mapping.

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