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Firefighters Battle Wildfires in Klamath and Lake Counties

In addition to multiple smaller fires, fire crews in South Central Oregon are hard at work fighting the 50-acre Blue Creek Fire and 41-acre Holbrook Fire.

Posted: Jul. 18, 2018 3:07 PM
Updated: Jul. 18, 2018 3:50 PM

LAKEVIEW, Ore. — The same series of storms that sparked fires across Jackson and Josephine counties made a similarly dramatic impact in Klamath and Lake counties, where fire crews continue to struggle against two major wildfires.

According to the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP), wildland firefighters responded to another nine confirmed lightning-caused fires in the last 24 hours alone—58 fires in the last 72 hours. They estimate that South Central Oregon received over 2,000 lightning strikes in the last three days.

The largest fire in the area is the 50-acre Blue Creek Fire, located at the southwestern base of Spodue Mountain, north of Beatty.

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) attacked the Blue Creek Fire with assistance from the Fremont-Winema National Forest (FWNF)—bringing in one heavy air tanker, five single-engine air tankers, three helicopters, 10 firefighting engines, two water tenders and two bulldozers. That fire is now 15 percent contained, with firefighting efforts ongoing.

Meanwhile, firefighters have managed to hold the Holbrook fire—located about eight miles southeast of Gerber Reservoir—at 41 acres, with 25 percent containment. The Lakeview District Bureau of Land Management leads this firefight, assisted by ODF and FWNF.

In a statement, SCOFMP made special note of the Tiny Creek Fire, burning on about seven acres eight miles west of the Highway 97 and 138 junction near Chemult. Using roads as control lines, fire managers allowed the fire to continue burning "similar to a prescribed fire." The fire consumed the heavy fuels in the area, and firefighters will continue to monitor the area to suppress any remaining hot spots.

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