Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Wed, August 15 2012 at 4:13 PM, Updated: Wed, August 15 2012 at 4:40 PM
Wildfires have made for a very busy week at the Klamath Falls Interagency Fire Center.
Dispatch Coordinator Jake Barnett has been busy putting out fires...
"It can get pretty intense when you have multiple incidents going on. A lot of it is the initial getting the resources out to the fire itself."
Things were hopping Tuesday afternoon. Fire crews were leaving one fire in Chiloquin for another fire in the Cold Springs area. Burnett notes that Cold Springs fire is still active...
"Cold Springs as of right now, is an actively burning fire - we're looking at right around 10 acres."
A map in the dispatch center shows where the fires are burning, and which resources have been assigned to those fires.
Anne Maloney of the Oregon Department of Forestry says that a lightning storm can spark a lot of activity at the fire center...
"The can have 50 to 100 smoke reports in one or two days."
But, Jake Barnett likes that adrenaline rush. "Thing I like most out of it is, just the, one minute you're doing nothing, the next minute you're extremely busy."
The fire center is located at Kingsley Field next to the tanker base. And Barnett stresses that he's just a small part of a much bigger team.
"Working with the individuals on the ground, you have a common goal to suppress a fire. And, you're making sure everybody gets home safe."
The Klamath Falls Interagency Fire Center is now in its thirtieth year.
You'll find a wealth of information on fire activity on their website:
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.