Van Meter fire burning around 3,500 acres southeast of Klamath Falls

STUKEL MOUNTAIN, Ore.–The Van Meter Fire, burning in Klamath County has grown to around 3,500 acres.

It’s zero percent contained.

ODF’s Jennifer Case said “there’s multiple fires around us so who knows if we’ll get smoke blown in from other areas.”

The Van Meter Fire is currently burning on Stukel Mountain, 13 miles southeast of Klamath Falls.

The fire has already destroyed 5 structures and fire officials said another 260 are threatened.

Case said, “wind is definitely a concern. Hopefully they have good containment lines towards the south part of the fire so that they’re able to keep it there and keep it from spreading further to the south.”

Since the fire started Wednesday, ODF has been working on getting more resources to the fire.

Case said a new incident management team assumed command of the fire Thursday evening.

“With the type one team coming in, that just means more resources are going to be allocated to the fire, more overhead as well as ground resources and air,” she said.

Right now, there is a Level Three evacuation order for the Dodds Hollow area north of the town of Merrill.

There’s a Level Two evacuation notice from Crystal Springs Road east of Hill Road and South Poe Valley Road from Crystal Springs Road to Weber Road.

There is also a Level Two evacuation notice from Harpold Road West to Hill Road North of Taylor Road, just north of the town Merrill.

For residents affected by evacuation orders, the Red Cross  set up a shelter at the Klamath County Fairgrounds.

Shelter Worker Sharon Evoy said, “we’ll be here 24/7 until the Level Three evacuation notices are lifted.”

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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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