Klamath Falls, Ore. – Today, firefighting operations on the Van Meter Fire will transition fully into mop-up with the completion of hoselays into the southern portion of the fire. Firefighters will use water to cool hot-spots and wet burning fuels. This will increase the efficiency of mop-up and support firefighting activities to widen the black, cold area along the fire perimeter.
The fire remains within the existing footprint and is 2,502 acres.
Last night crews used hand-held infrared viewers to detect hot spots along the perimeter on the northeast side of the fire. Firefighters will pay special attention through the day to these areas, cooling with water, exposing burning material, and ensuring the spots are cool to the touch. Use of the hand-held infrared devices will continue tonight.
Structural task forces from the Rogue Valley and Deschutes County returned to their home units Saturday. The Klamath County Structural Task Force is available if needed for structural protection and wildland resources will continue to monitor, patrol, and mop-up within the residential areas.
One minor accident occurred on the fireline Saturday during dayshift and falling snags and trees continue to be a primary safety concern for firefighters on the line. Significant effort is focused on safely falling snags near the fire perimeter and in travel routes for firefighter safety.
Residential traffic is allowed in the fire area, but residents are encouraged to drive slowly and be aware of fire operation traffic as they travel through the fire. Bureau of Land Management lands in and around the fire area remain closed to the public.
Evacuation levels continue to be evaluated based on fire behavior. For the latest up-to-date evacuation information, please visit the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KlamathSheriff or call 541-205-9730. The Red Cross Evacuation Shelter at the Klamath County Fair and Event Center has been closed.
Temperatures today on the fire will be cooler with higher humidity and the potential for some precipitation tonight and possible showers and thunderstorms on Monday. As the weather transitions from hot and dry to these cooler conditions there will be an increase in the wind.
A Temporary Flight Restriction exists around the fire to limit any aircraft not associated with firefighting activities in the airspace. Wildfires are always a no-fly zone for drones. A drone flying in the area can ground all operational aircraft and impact suppression activities.