Modoc July Complex of Fires at 125 square miles

Modoc County, Cal. – The second-largest fire in the nation is continuing to burn just south of the Oregon / California state line.

NBC2’s Lyle Ahrens has the latest from inside the fire line of the ‘Modoc July Complex’.

Fire Crews have managed to get a line around 40% of the fire.

“The Steele Fire in the north is about 45,000 acres, the Cove Fire is about 28,000 acres.”  Notes Fire Information Officer Sonny Saghera.  “For a total acreage of a little bit over 80,000 acres.”

To put that into perspective, that works out to about 125 square miles.

You could fit five cities the size of Medford inside of the fire lines, or six cities the size of Klamath Falls.

Lightning sparked more than 40 fires in the area on July 24th.

Many of those fires have now merged into the larger complex.

Saghera points out that the weather is still posing a big challenge.  “The heat – obviously, we’re seeing record-setting temperatures this week.  And then in the afternoons, when the winds kick up, that poses a potential problem for the firefighters.”

An incident command post has been set up about 70 miles south of Klamath Falls on Highway 139.

“There’s approximately 2,200 firefighters fighting the fire, plus the 50 or so incident management team here.”  Says Saghera.  “So that’s going to put us probably the second largest population here in Modoc County.”

So far, there have been no structures lost, or injuries as a result of the fire.

It’s estimated the cost of fighting the fire has now reached over fifteen million dollars.

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