Lightning storms bring new fires to the region

Pictured is a helicopter flying through cloudy skies. (Courtesy Oregon Department of Forestry, Southwest Oregon District)

Active thunder and lightning storms in the region have brought new fires with them as well.

Klamath County

The South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership reports that the Ward Fire is an estimated 1500+ acres as of 11:00 p.m. The fire is 18 miles southwest of Klamath Falls. Multiple ground and aerial resources are on scene, with more on order. The fire is burning on private and Bureau of Land Management lands. Oregon State Police are restricting traffic on Highway 66 west of Ward Road to assist responding fire crews. The fire was first reported to local dispatch at approximately 1:45 p.m. Friday.

The South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership also reports that there are additional fires in the Chase Mountain area southwest of Keno, in the Pelican Butte area, north of Upper Klamath Lake, and at Fourmile Lake. Resources to these starts are en route.

The US Forest Service at the Klamath National Forest says they have found six fires as of Friday evening. Two are in the Salmon/Scott District. There are another four in the Happy Camp/Oak Knoll District. At this time, all are less than 1 acre in size. The Forest Service also reports that all fires are currently staffed with personnel working on extinguishing the flames.

SCOFMP says lightning is expected throughout the evening and into Saturday.

Siskiyou County

Cal Fire's Siskiyou Unit is responding to multiple lighting fires in Scott Valley and Copco area Friday afternoon.

Jackson & Josephine Counties

While Jackson and Josephine Counties both received a fair amount of lightning strikes this afternoon, Oregon Department of Forestry, Southwest Oregon District crews have only put out a few smalls fires.

The majority of those fires are in the Applegate Valley area, with the largest being 1/100 of an acre.

ODF is sending up their Type 2 District Helicopter to do some reconnaissance on the affected areas. Fires can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks to spread from a lightning strike, according to ODF.

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