KENO, Ore. – Despite challenges with access, firefighters made great progress on the Bear Flat Fire yesterday in the Klamath River Canyon, approximately 9 miles southwest of Keno.
The fire is estimated to be 50 acres this morning, with no containment. The cause is under investigation.
Air resources, primarily helicopter work, were effective on the fire yesterday, with minimal fire growth. CalFire assisted yesterday, providing a helicopter, two engines and a battalion chief for the day.
Weather conditions overnight included a decrease in winds and moderate humidity recovery, helping minimize fire growth. Conditions today are forecast to include higher humidity compared to yesterday with light winds in the morning increasing through the day.
Today there are nearly 100 people assigned to the fire, including three hand crews, six engines, two water tenders and a dozer, with more resources on order. Wildland firefighting resources will continue to work to secure lines, identify and mitigate hazard trees and identify contingency line options.
The South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) Type 3 Incident Management Team is continuing to manage the fire response.
The Lakeview District Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has temporarily closed Ward Road from Route 66 to Mud Springs Road and Copco/Big Bend Road-entire road south of the Emergency Spillway. The Klamath River is also closed to rafting from the Klamath Dam to the Oregon-California Stateline. Campgrounds in the Upper Klamath River Canyon on river right are closed and the public is asked to stay out of the canyon area.
Smoke from the fire will continue to be highly visible today. There are no structures threatened and the community of Keno is not at risk.
There is increased traffic in the area from wildland firefighting equipment. Area residents and visitors are asked to use caution driving in the area.
The Bear Flat Fire is burning in steep, inaccessible terrain and heavy timber on the BLM Lakeview District and moving towards Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) protected lands.
Fire danger remains “Extreme” in Lake and Klamath counties. Extremely dry fuels and seasonal winds can make even a small spark rapidly grow into a large wildfire.
The public is responsible for ensuring that they have reviewed and are aware of the restrictions in place for the landscape they plan to recreate or work on. For all agencies, violation of these prohibitions could result in citations, fines, and even imprisonment, depending on the agency and order.
The latest restrictions and regulations, including for ODF and the federal agencies, are available at https://scofmp.org/restrictions.shtml.