Wildfire burning near Klamath Falls

KLAMATH COUNTY, Ore. – A wildfire burning on Stukel Mountain near Klamath Falls has now grown to over a square mile in size.

The fire broke out just before 3:00 Sunday afternoon.

It’s believed the fire may have started near a gravel pit area often used for target practice.

Andy Hoskins with Klamath County Fire District #1 said, “There were reports early on that it came from some people that were shooting, but we don’t have any of those confirmations.”

The fire was estimated at 750 acres Monday morning.

“No injuries, and no structures lost,” Hoskins said. “It is a very steep and rocky terrain here.”

Cath Lankton lives near the fire on hill road. She said, “It’s a little spooky this close. It doesn’t seem too close, but close enough—that’s for sure.”

A briefing session for fire crews was held Monday morning at the base of the mountain.

The fire has inched closer and closer to a hilltop which houses a KOTI transmitter.

“Up at the peak of Stukel there’s a communications site that they’re really worried about,” Hoskins explained, “they’re going to try to protect that and then down off of hill road, there’s multiple farm houses, ranch houses.

“A federal agency has taken over this fire, a type 3 team, and they were able to get some helicopters on order, and they’re en route for today which will help out a lot.”

While there are adequate resources on the fire, Lankton is still concerned. She said, “A little bit, but not too bad. I mean, there’s no trees to speak of between my house and the fire, but you never know.”

Hill road will be closed in the immediate area of the fire for safety. Those living along that closure area have been told to be ready for possible evacuation if necessary.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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