KENO, Ore. — Fire officials will be making extensive use of firefighting aircraft to combat the Bear Flat Fire burning in Klamath River Canyon. The fire was first reported on Monday afternoon within the canyon southwest of Keno in Klamath County.
In an update on Tuesday, the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) did not indicate that the Bear Flat Fire had grown significantly between Monday night and Wednesday, but its inaccessibility to ground crews remains an issue. It was still estimated at 50 acres as of that morning, with no containment.
"Due to the terrain, wildland firefighting aircraft is expected to be used extensively today," SCOFMP said. "Area residents may notice more air traffic in the area, as well as increased wildland firefighting equipment arriving in the Keno area. Area residents and visitors are asked to use caution driving in the area."
The Bear Flat Fire is burning in steep, inaccessible terrain and heavy timber within the Klamath River Canyon. Smoke from the fire is heavily visible throughout the area, but there are no structures threatened or at risk within nearby communities like Keno.
SCOFMP said that numerous air and ground resources are assigned to the fire, with more on order. As of Tuesday morning, a SCOFMP Type 3 Incident Management Team had taken command of the fire.
Campgrounds in the Upper Klamath River Canyon on river right are closed and the public is asked to stay out of the canyon area. Road closures are also expected to go into effect Tuesday afternoon on Ward Road and Klamath River Canyon Road on the north and west side of the river. The Klamath River will also be closed to rafting from the Klamath Dam to the Oregon-California state line.