Braymill Fire

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Thu, May 17 2012 at 3:58 PM, Updated: Thu, May 17 2012 at 4:19 PM

Fire crews are mopping up a 17 acre fire that was sparked Wednesday about 4 miles from Chiloquin.

Property owner Lance Letner says the fire got out of control fast...

"The wind was swirling around, and taking the fire in too many directions to fight it by myself."

Grady Lowery of the Oregon Department of Forestry adds:  "Upon arrival, we had a couple acres on fire, with a couple outbuildings involved."

Both outbuildings burned to the ground.  Letner notes that he had been using the buildings for storage...

"These were employee housing for the Bray Mill, they were built in about 1918."

The fire was sparked by embers from burn barrels.  The fire began early Wednesday afternoon when the property owner was burning some limbs that had been cut down by the power company. 

Grady Lowery notes that dry conditions, and hilly terrain helped the fire to spread quickly...

"80, 85 degree temperatures brings the moisture levels in the fuel down pretty quick."

The fire moved into an area that had been thinned and treated to help reduce fuel loads.  Lowery notes that was a big factor that allowed crews to gain control of the fire...

"We'll be looking for 100% mop-up today on the incident.  Hopefully, no smoke showing toward the end of the day." 

   Fire season in Klamath and Lake counties doesn't normally get underway until early to mid-June.  But the Braymill fire is a reminder that the conditions are already ripe. 

The Braymill fire isn't the only fire burning in Southern Oregon...

The 'Hickey Fire' has now blackened about 250 acres eight miles east of Lakeview.  The Hickey fire is believed to be human-caused, and is burning in a mix of sage and timber.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

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.

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