Golden Fire burning over 2k acres, favorable weather helping firefighters

BONANAZA, Ore.– A new wildfire popped up over the weekend in Klamath County.

The Golden Fire started Saturday afternoon and is now burning over 2,000 acres just north of Bonanza on Bly Mountain.

Over 300 structures are currently threatened.

The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office is currently working to protect a number of structures near the fire.

Fire officials said they are still assessing whether any homes or buildings have been destroyed.

ODF’s Kent Romney said, “right now the weather is being quite favorable for us, the fire activity is moderate.”

Fire officials said they have a good perimeter in place around the Golden Fire, which is burning 2,052 acres 11 miles north of Bonanza.

Although the fire is still 0% contained Monday, favorable weather has allowed firefighters to keep up with the fire.

“What the crews are doing right now is they’re working in an area to clear out fuels and remove hot spots around structures from the edge of the structure out around 50 feet,” Romney said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office believes it began on an illegal marijuana grow.

Fire officials said road access to the fire is easier along Highway 140, but in other spots, it can be more challenging.

“The terrain is quite variable,” Romney said, “there’s some quite steep and difficult to access areas, but crews are making good progress.”

Two areas near the fire were placed on level 3 evacuations this weekend, including east of Highway 140 and east of Bly Mountain Cutoff Road.

Part of that evacuation zone has been downgraded to a level 2.

The Red Cross set up a shelter at Bonanza High School for evacuees.

The Red Cross’ Donda King said, “there was a big flux in the beginning, and that’s typical because people want some direction or some information, so we had quite a few the first day or so.”

The King said there are around 25 people currently staying at the shelter.

She said their local partners have been extremely helpful making sure they have food and supplies for everyone.

“Bonanza is a small community, and typically when we’re here, it is amazing the support we get from the local churches and the schools and the health department and again on this one they have come through and helped amazing,” King said.

Fire officials just announced a community meeting at Bonanza High School Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The meeting will feature a presentation on the current fire status and evacuations.

For the latest evacuation information, firefighters ask you to call the Klamath County hotline at 541-205-9730.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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