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Oregon Agencies Eye Klamathon Fire, Urge Preparedness

Hikers are warned to avoid heading south toward California, while fire crews stand ready to respond if the Klamathon Fire should continue spreading to the north.

Posted: Jul. 6, 2018 3:19 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. — As the Klamathon Fire continues to burn just over the state border in Siskiyou County, officials on the Oregon side are preparing for any number of risks associated with the unpredictable wildfire that has already caused untold damage and loss of life.

Hikers should avoid all forested areas near the Oregon-California border, according to Jackson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO) search and rescue members. This includes the Pacific Crest Trail, Mount Ashland, and the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

Officials say that they are concerned people out in those remote areas may have difficulty receiving evacuation notices or news of the fire's spread.

"Prevention is key; search and rescue crews may be prohibited from engaging in search missions due to fire danger," JCSO said in a statement.

There are currently no detour routes or closures established—those will be determined by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management if it becomes necessary.

Meanwhile, Jackson Fire District 5 (FD5) says that they have been closely monitoring the ongoing situation just across the border. They have added additional firefighters to stand-by status in case the fire moves into Oregon.

FD5 says that citizens near the California border should "BE READY" for possible evacuation. They also say that people should monitor the websites for nearby emergency services and local media outlets to stay up to date with information.

"This is the time for preparation and precautionary movement of persons with special needs, mobile property and (under certain circumstances) pets and livestock," FD5 said in a statement. "If conditions worsen, emergency services personnel may contact you via an emergency notification system."

The City of Medford has prepared a web page with updates on air quality, fire risk and restrictions.

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