Hwy 96 reopens as firefighters gain on two fires in Klamath National Forest

Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service are working on the Tree Fire and the Community Fire in Siskiyou County.

Posted: Jul 27, 2019 1:28 PM
Updated: Jul 29, 2019 11:39 AM

YREKA, Calif. —

UPDATE: Highway 96 has been reopened to all traffic in Siskiyou County as firefighters make gains on the Tree Fire and Community Fire in the Klamath National Forest. The area may still be subject to temporary closure with traffic controls until Monday night.

According to the latest update from fire officials, the Community Fire is now 60 percent contained at 35 acres, while the Tree Fire is 60 percent contained at 83 acres.

Firefighters continue to conduct mop-up operations and are working to complete a handline around both fires.

(Updated 7/29/19 at 11:35 a.m.)

UPDATE: Highway 96 is still closed to the general public. It is open to residents. 

Both the Community Fire and the Tree Fire grew overnight. 

The Community Fire is now 35 acres and is 50% contained. The cause of the Community Fire is still under investigation. 

The Tree Fire is now 83 acres ad is 50% contained. The cause of the Tree Fire is still under investigation. 

The U.S. Forest Service says crews hope to get Highway 96 back open later today with traffic controls. NewsWatch 12 will send out a Push Alert and update this article when the highway reopens. 

(Last updated 7/28/19 at 11:00 a.m.)

Original Post: 

Fire crews from both CalFire and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) are responding to two fires burning in the Klamath National Forest near Tree of Heaven Campground, according to officials with the Klamath National Forest.

The Tree Fire is currently estimated at 30 acres, while the Community Fire burns on 10 acres. USFS said that firefighters and aircraft have made "good progress" on both.

According to a Caltrans official, Highway 96 has been closed westbound at the junction with Highway 263. Hwy 96 has also been closed eastbound to traffic east of Oakbar. Caltrans said that there is currently no detour available through the area.

This is a developing story and NewsWatch 12 will update the article with more information as it comes in.

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