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Rainstorm helps fight wildfires.

The Oregon Gulch fire is burning near Copco Road on the eastern border of Jackson County near Klamath County. Officials said Tuesday it is 20 percent contained.

  by TRISTAN HIEGLER, Herald and News 8/6/14

     Fire crews are continuing to make progress in containing the various Oregon lightning fires, and with any luck the regional weather should improve in the next couple of days.

   The recent lightning storms have been fed into Southern Oregon and Northern California from a low-pressure system near Lake Tahoe, Calif.

   According to Marc Spilde, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s office in Medford, that system should be moving southeast. He said after Tuesday night, the associated lightning and moisture should be on their way to Nevada.

   The maximum temperature for today is predicted to be 85 degrees.

   Spilde said the smoke might remain in the Klamath Basin due the large number of fires ringing the area.

   “It’s hard to say exactly what fire it’s come from. I would just say it’s from all the wildfires that are burning around the area,” he said.  

   Beaver Complex

   The Oregon Gulch Fire, which has crossed the eastern border of Jackson County into Klamath County, is currently thought to be at 36,568 acres and 20 percent contained.

   Don Hickman, a spokesperson working with the Oregon Department of Forestry, said progress was made on the fire lines during Monday night’s cooler weather.

   Another fire was added to the complex when a lightning strike caused a seven-acre blaze to break out on Parker Mountain. Hickman noted due to the 1,573 firefighting personnel already in the area, that small fire was quickly found and lined.     Highway 97 was opened to one lane of traffic  

   The smaller Salt Creek Fire is 87 percent contained.

   Evacuation advisories are still in effect. Hickman said some east Jackson County areas have been raised to Level 2, which means be prepare to leave.

   A few residents in Klamath County, west of Keno, have been informed by the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office they should be aware of fire activity in the region.  

   Highway 97

   The highway was opened with one lane of traffic controlled by a pilot car as of Tuesday afternoon.

   Due to wildland fire activity in the area, the roadway has been closed off several times 20 miles northeast of Weed, Calif. The Oregon Department of Transportation is advising traffic delays might last as long as one hour in the area.

   The lane being open is dependent on how the fire behaves. Check for updates at TripCheck. com.  

   Pumice Flat Complex

   Out of the 20 lightning fires burning in the southern portion of Crater Lake National Park, only five still need work.

   Wet weather Monday night helped crews with their suppression efforts, according to a release.

   The five remaining fires should have been addressed throughout Tuesday, with crews camping out near the locations Monday night.

   California fires

   The lightning-caused July Complex fires have caused an evacuation notice to be issued for a small portion of Siskiyou County.  

   Etna is not in an evacuation; an evacuation advisory only is in effect only for Quartz Valley between Scott River Road and Oro Fino Road. An evacuation center has been set up at Scott Valley Junior High School located at 237 Butte St., Fort Jones, Calif.

   Approximately 6,897 acres have been burned and containment efforts are ongoing.  

   Also in Siskiyou County, the lightningcaused Beaver Fire is at 11,488 acres. Located in the Klamath National Forest near Beaver Creek Road, the blaze spread Tuesday night due to wind activity.

   Highway 96 is open to local traffic only and may be impacted by future fire activity.

   There is currently an evacuation advisory notice issued by the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office for residents of Beaver Creek Road and along the Highway 96 corridor from Fishers RV Park to the Forest Service Oak Knoll Work Center.  

   Evacuees can utilize the Red Cross Shelter at the Jackson Street Elementary School at 405 Jackson St. in Yreka. Call 530-841-2900 for more information.

   Near the community of Fall River Mills in Shasta County, the Day Fire is at 13,047 acres with 65 percent containment. Total containment is anticipated by Saturday.

    thiegler@heraldandnews  . com; @HieglerHN  

  Submitted photo courtesy of Don Hickman


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