Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Mon, June 23 2014 at 4:28 PM, Updated: Mon, June 23 2014 at 4:49 PM
The 'Bryant' fire has now blackened more than 2 square miles in southern Klamath County...and as crews work to get the upper-hand, investigators being looking for a cause.
Fire crews are working hard to strengthen a fragile line around the Bryant fire.
"The fire is now 45% contained." Noted Chris Friend of the Oregon Department of Forestry. "We're about 1,361 acres in size."
The Bryant fire is even big enough for its own T-shirt.
Matthew Foley and his contract crew from GHR are busy putting out hot spots...
"Mop-up is just as important part of the job as any of it is - because if you don't mop it up and clean it up, you still have it."
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The Bryant fire was sparked Thursday afternoon on private land owned by JWTR about 10 miles southeast of Bonanza.
Bonanza has a population of less than 500...and the town is serving as a base for nearly 1000 firefighters.
As nearly 10 miles of fire lines are strengthened, Chris Friend notes that some of those crews will head off to fight other fires...
"Some of our personnel, and some of the equipment is being released from the fire."
Helicopters are still looking for hot spots from the air.
And while much of the fire is in mop-up stage, Matthew Foley points out that doesn't mean the fire no longer poses a hazard...
"Oh, yeah. It's where you get complacent - you don't think about things as much as you should."
It has cost over two and a half million dollars to fight the Bryant fire so far.
No structures have been lost, and no injuries have been reported as a result of the fire.
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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.