Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Fri, August 10 2012 at 5:54 PM, Updated: Fri, August 10 2012 at 6:06 PM
The 'Barry Point' fire burning near Lakeview has now blackened nearly 18 square miles.
Ryan Frederick is one of about two dozen homeowners whose homes are threatened by the fire...
"Pretty concerned. We've got a level 3 evacuation, but we're going to stay as long as we can."
While no structures have been lost, structure protection specialist Jim Stearns reports that the fire has gotten closer to homes in the Drews Reservoir area...
"The concern that we're dealing with now, is the structures that are nearby - about a mile and a half from here to the closest structures."
The fire was sparked by lightning on Sunday. Stearns notes that strong winds Thursday caused the fire to nearly double in size...
"The fire grew considerably yesterday. And as you can see probably from the trees behind me, we're getting significant wind on it again today."
The fire passed over an area of Dog Lake Road Thursday. Inside the fire line, stumps are still burning, and hillsides are still smoldering.
Stearns says that a base camp has been set up at the Lake County Fairgrounds. "We have about 830 people on this incident right now, and I believe it was about 11 thousand acres, or a little over."
And Ryan Frederick is doing what he can do to save his home...
"I got a 1400 gallon tanker, and a 250 gallon tanker, and we're trying to run pumps out of the lake to reinforce it."
But those suppression efforts will need some help from Mother Nature...
The Barry Point fire is now 25 percent contained, and is expected to remain active for the next several days.
An open house will be held at the Lakeview Fairgrounds this Saturday from one to three to provide more information to local residents.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.