BLY, Ore. – The Ponina Fire, burning 5 miles north of Beatty, is expected to reach full containment by the end of today. The fire remains 1,641 acres and is under investigation. This will be the final update unless there is a significant change.
Firefighters will be patrolling the fire and conducting daily checks in the coming days and weeks.
While storms and mountain snow are expected this weekend, the forecast for next week shows a return to a warming and drying pattern. Even with additional precipitation and cooler weather, fuels are still unseasonably dry and conditions are not likely to improve significantly.
Smoke will remain visible in the surrounding area for the next few days, including Oregon State Highway 140. Fire traffic in the area will continue in coming days. Travelers in the area should use caution.
Wildfire can leave hazards directly after and for months following. This includes pockets of burning material and unstable soils. The public is advised to continue to avoid the fire area for public safety and area residents should exercise caution.
Lake and Klamath Counties are unseasonably dry this year and firefighting resources are responding to numerous incidents that are preventable. Area landowners are asked to make sure they are in compliance with local burning regulations and fire departments.
“With fuels continuing to dry out, every day brings us closer to fire season,” said Oregon Department of Forestry Klamath Lake Assistant District Forester Teresa Williams. “Rising temperatures, increased winds and worsening drought conditions can make fires spread rapidly even though it is only spring. The public is asked to use extreme caution with preseason burning and anything that can throw a spark in order to prevent wildfires.”
The Ponina Fire is also a reminder for Lake and Klamath County residents, especially for those living in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), to have a plan and be prepared in case of an incident. This includes identifying items that need to be gathered or secured when evacuation notices are issued.
Current conditions in South Central Oregon are exceedingly dry for this time of year and typical spring weather can bring strong and erratic winds. The risk of wildfire is increasing early this year, making it more important to be careful, even with small sparks. Please call 911 to report suspected wildfires.