Stagecoach Fire Burns 330 Acres Near LaPine

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, July 23 2013 at 4:41 PM, Updated: Tue, July 23 2013 at 4:51 PM

Police have arrested a LaPine man in connection with a fire that burned down a cabin, and has blackened over half of a square mile in Northern Klamath County.

Rolando Alonzo owns one of the 120 properties threatened by the 'Stagecoach' fire, and he's worried...

"Yes, I am.  We have two story cabins on there that we use frequently, and I'm concerned that those might have been burned down."

Public Information Officer Kristen Bowles explains that the fire broke out just south of the Deschutes county line near the Antelope Meadows and Split Rail subdivisions...

"So this fire started yesterday afternoon, quickly grew in size to an estimated 350 to 400 acres."

Police say 30 year old Kelly Jera Parker started a campfire on federal land that sparked the fire.  He's now charged with first-degree arson and reckless burning.

120 homes were evacuated Monday night.

While that evacuation order was lifted this morning, many road closures are still in place.

About 150 firefighters are involved in suppression efforts on the Stagecoach fire, which has been fully lined, but not fully contained at this time.

One cabin was destroyed in the fire...but Rolando Alonzo has just been told that it wasn't his...

"The good news is, everything's been spared."

The Stagecoach fire serves as a strong reminder that conditions for fire in Klamath and Lake counties are now extreme.

The Stagecoach fire is about 10% contained at this time...crews have been working today to strengthen a dozer line made around the fire, and locate any hot spots outside that fire line.

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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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