BLY, Ore. – Firefighters continue to make excellent progress on the Ponina Fire burning approximately 5 miles north of Beatty.
The fire is 1,641 acres and 40 percent contained. The cause is under investigation. The fire was reported Sunday around 2:30 p.m.
The increased acreage is due to more accurate mapping. Firefighters yesterday were able to hold the fire and there was no additional growth. They were able to start mop-up activities which will continue today.
The local Type 3 Incident Management Team and firefighters appreciate the local communities who have been extremely helpful and supportive during the Ponina Fire.
The fire is burning in timber and brush with creeping and smoldering fire behavior. There are some interior heavy fuels burning as well as formerly green islands.
There are two hand crews, eight engines, one dozer, one water tender, and one helicopter working on the fire.
There was minimal rain over the fire area last night and this morning. Weather conditions are expected to be cooler today with a chance of showers before noon. Drying northeast winds are expected over the fire this afternoon with temperatures warming again over the coming days.
Seven structures were lost, which were mostly outbuildings. Evacuation levels have been dropped to Level 2 and area residents are able to return if they want but should be prepared to evacuate if conditions change. Evacuations are being conducted by Klamath County Sheriff’s Office.
Smoke is highly visible in the surrounding area, including Oregon State Highway 140. There will be increased fire traffic in the area, including on Hwy 140 and the Sycan Road. Travelers in the area should use caution, reduce speed and be prepared for possible delays.
The fire is burning in an area with narrow roads. The public is advised to avoid the fire area for public and firefighter safety.
Even with cooler weather and some precipitation, fuels remain dormant and dry, meaning fire can carry quickly. As cold fronts approach, winds can be fast and erratic, leading to spotting and rapid fire spread even from a small fire like a campfire. The public is urged to use extreme caution with fire on private and wild lands, especially as the area is already seeing early wildfires.