Fire Crews Make Steady Progress on Cutoff Fire Near Bonanza

Bonanza, Ore.—Firefighters on the ground used bulldozers, other heavy equipment, and hand tools to build containment lines around the Cutoff Fire near Bonanza. In the air, skies above the fire were busy with heavy air tankers, helicopters, and single engine air tankers (SEATS) dropping water and retardant to slow the fire’s spread.

Fire managers estimate that over half of the fire’s 1,500-acre perimeter has been lined. Containment sits at 10%, indicating that the control lines will need to be significantly strengthened before they will withstand forecasted hot, dry weather. The fire is burning on a mix of public and private forestland and threatens approximately 125 structures.

In consultation with the fire’s Incident Commander, Klamath County Emergency Management issued a Level 3 (GO NOW) evacuation for the area east of Bly Mountain Cutoff Road, between Jaguar Lane/Racoon Lane and Spaniel Lane/ Crocodile Lane, west of Thrasher Drive. Evacuation levels remain unchanged.

ODF’s Incident Management Team 1 took command of the fire at approximately 6:00 pm on Sunday, June 20, 2021. Incident Commander Joe Hessel praised the work of local agencies. “The local forces did an excellent job getting this fire knocked down quickly. They did a tremendous amount of work. Our job is to pick up where they left off and finish the job,” said Hessel.

The priorities for the coming days including improving protection around structures and strengthening control lines. The weather forecast calls for continued hot and dry weather with the potential for thunderstorms.

American Red Cross and the Klamath County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) have set up a shelter at the Living Springs Fellow Church (temporary housing, meals, first aid and a pet shelter offered)