Barry Point Fire

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Mon, August 20 2012 at 5:12 PM, Updated: Mon, August 20 2012 at 5:24 PM

The 'Barry Point' fire has now burned over 146 square miles of Lake County Oregon, and Modoc County, California.

But, some home evacuation orders on the Oregon side have been lifted.

Judy Maniates is back home today, more than a week after the Barry Point fire forced her evacuation...

"Friends called, and said, 'We're at a level 3 - get your tail home!' and we got home, and at that point, we could see flames."

Maniates adds that the fire burned within 200 yards of her home, and only a few feet from a guest cabin.  "If they hadn't wrapped it, it would have gone."

The fire is still active on the southern and eastern edges. 

Zach Ellinger of the U.S. Forest Service notes that weekend rains helped to slow the fire...

"The thunderstorms really helped us out.  We did have some down draft winds that pushed the fire around a little bit, but the rain, and the higher humidity, and cooler temperatures really slowed the forward progress of the fire."

The National Guard is now helping to combat the 94,000 acre fire, thanks to a declaration made by the Governor last week.  The Governor's 'State of Emergency' declaration opened the door for the release of additional resources for fire suppression, such as 3 blackhawk helicopters from the Oregon National Guard.

"Yesterday, we launched in support of a couple of the regions of the fire with our water bucket."  Noted Sergeant Mike Buchan of the Oregon Army National Guard.  "We had two ships launch."

And Judy Maniates has high praise for all of those who helped to save her home...

"Yeah, they were kind of our guardian angels.  While we were in town sleeping safely, they were up on my hill protecting my property.  So God bless each and every one of them."

The Barry Point fire has now been burning for two weeks. 

Crews are hoping for full containment of the fire by this Saturday.

The cost of fighting the fire is quickly approaching 15 million dollars.

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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