KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Fall officially begins Saturday, September 22nd, but fire season is still in effect in southern Oregon and northern California.
“Wake up, there’s some dew,” pointed out Randall Baley of the Oregon Department of Forestry. “But by mid-day, all that’s gone. High temperatures, we’re coming up into the 70’s still – we’re getting afternoon winds, and we’re still in fire season.”
The biggest fire in Klamath and Lake counties this year has been the Watson Creek fire, which burned more than 90 square miles near Paisley.
“If I was to compare last year’s numbers to this year, we are down as far as the number of fires,” added Baley. “Because we just haven’t had the lightning events. But our human-caused fires were about 70% of our total fires for the Klamath / Lake District.”
Some firefighters have headed back to school for the fall term, but many will be on duty until fire season ends.
“We’ll be at it until we get a season-ending event,” noted Randall Baley. “Which may not be until mid-October.”
While some restrictions have been eased, fire officials are still urging hunters and campers to use extreme caution with campfires.
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.