Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Mon, August 4 2014 at 5:13 PM, Updated: Mon, August 4 2014 at 5:22 PM
Siskiyou County, Cal. - Highway 97 remains closed tonight about 45 miles south of Klamath Falls due to the 'Little Deer' fire.
The fire hopped Highway 97 on Sunday, forcing a shutdown of the highway.
"There's fairly active fire behavior along the highway." Notes Mike Powell of the Klamath National Forest. "So that's why the road is closed at this point. And it's probably going to be closed intermittently for quite a while."
Southbound traffic on 97 is being turned around at the inspection station south of Dorris.
Traffic is being sent back to Klamath Falls, and told to take highway 140 to Medford and I-5.
Inspector Carol Day of the California Department of Food and Ag says most driver aren't happy to hear about the lengthy detour...
"Not very happy. But, they want to know when the road is going to be open, and as far as we know, we don't know for sure."
James Brown is only going as far as MacDoel...
"It's bad out there. It's just like a fog - we can't hardly see the mountains or nothing from where I live, and they're not very far away."
The Little Deer fire was sparked by lightning last Thursday, and has grown to 4,700 acres, or about 7 and a half square miles.
The fire is 43% contained, and more than 400 firefighters and working to put out the blaze.
There are currently no evacuation orders in place due to the Little Deer fire.
About 600 thousand dollars has been spent so far in trying to put out 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.