HORNBROOK, Calif. – The Klamathon Fire’s growth has halted at 36,500 acres. The fire was 70% contained as of the morning of July 12, CAL FIRE said.
According to CAL FIRE’s Siskiyou Unit, the Klamathon Fire started on the afternoon of July 5 two miles southeast of Hornbrook. Originally reported at around 50 acres, the wind-driven fire quickly ballooned to 500 acres within the span of a few hours. There was 0% containment by 5:00 p.m. and evacuation orders were issued for the entire community of Hornbrook.
Caltrans and the Oregon Department of Transportation temporarily shut down Interstate 5 between Yreka and Ashland due to the fire. The entire city of Hornbrook had to be evacuated.
By 7:30 p.m., CAL FIRE reported the fire was over 1,000 acres and 0% contained with multiple structures threatened. The evacuation order was expanded to include Klamathon Road from I-5 to Ager all the way to and including Hilt and the Colestin Valley.
At about 8:50 p.m. the Klamathon Fire reached an estimated 5,000 acres. Multiple structures were reportedly damaged or destroyed.
By the morning of July 6, the fire grew to at least 8,000 acres. Firefighters spend the previous night trying to stay ahead of the fire in an attempt to stop it from crossing the Oregon-California border. They were able to achieve 5% containment. At 9:10, CAL FIRE’s Siskiyou Unit announced there was a civilian fatality due to the Klamathon Fire.
The Klamathon Fire continued to grow, eventually crossing into Oregon. By July 11, firefighters made substantial progress, reaching 60% by the time the fire grew to an estimated 36,500 acres. So far, 82 structures have been destroyed and 12 damaged. 315 structures remain under threat. Three firefighters were injured. 70% containment was achieved by the morning of July 12.
Evacuation warnings for California residents include the Copco Lake area, areas east of Jenny/Fall Creek south of the Oregon State line, north of Copco Road and west of Topsey Grade.
For Oregon residents, a Level 2 (Be Set) evacuation notice is in effect for the area east of Interstate 5 covering Bureau of Land Management lands and private properties west of the Jackson-Klamath County line, north of the California border and south of a line that extends from the intersection of I-5 and the Mount Ashland Ski Road due east of the Jackson-Klamath County line. A Level 1 (Be Reay) evacuation notice is in effect for the area east of Interstate 5 covering Bureau of Land Management lands and private properties west of the Jackson-Klamath County line, north of the line that extends from the intersection of I-5 and the Mount Ashland Ski Road due east to the Jackson-Klamath County Line north to Highway 66.
All other evacuation levels west of I-5 have been lifted.
As of July 12, crews said they’ve observed minimal fire behavior, with most activity isolated to the northern flank.