Lightning from thunderstorms has fueled about 29 fires in the western part of the Klamath National Forest in the past few days. More lightning is predicted today and more fires are expected due to their number.
All but four fires are in Salmon Scott River Ranger County and are managed as a single incident called the River Complex. The largest of these fires is the Cronan Fire, which is 3.5 miles northeast of Sawyers Bar. Its area is 20 acres. Helicopters and air tankers were used yesterday to limit the spread of fire while ground crews worked to secure access. Five fires were localized, and two were eliminated.
Two lightning fires hit Happy Camp Oak Knoll on Friday, one near the Buckhorn Bally observation deck and the other in the Lyme Gulch area, south of the Brown Bear boat dock on the Klamath River. The Balli fire has now been contained and the Lyme fire has been extinguished. An additional fire in the Slater area was reported on Saturday. The fourth lightning fire in the county is the 0.25-acre Glade Fire on Mount Sterling near the Oregon border.
Fire brigade resources are limited due to these lightning-triggered fires. Numerous units from outside the Klamath National Reserve are working on these fires to supplement local suppression resources, including fire engines, helicopters, and contract ground crews. The Siskiyu CAL FIRE division also provides assistance. Additional resources have been requested to support the extinguishing operations. The demand for firefighting resources in Northern California is high due to numerous incidents.
The public can help firefighters by preventing human-caused fires. Be extremely vigilant with anything that could cause a forest fire. The Klamath National Forest has fire regulations that prohibit the making of fires outside of the campgrounds. Remember, fewer sparks means fewer forest fires.