New evacuations in place for 9,600 acre, 5% contained Klamathon Fire

Courtesy: Debbie R Young

New evacuations for Jackson County residents are in order for the Klamathon Fire, announced by the Sheriff's Office. Cal Fire says the fire has burned 9600 acres and is only 5% contained.

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A “Level 3” (GO) evacuation has been issued for Colestin Road and Highway 99 from the California border to Mt. Ashland Ski Road.

A “Level 2” (BE SET) evacuation has been issued for the Mt. Ashland Ski Road from the ski resort to Highway 99, and Highway 99 from Mt. Ashland Ski Road to the 6700-block.

A LEVEL 2 evacuation means “BE SET” to evacuate. This level indicates there is significant danger to your area, and residents should either voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area, or if choosing to remain, to be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice.

A LEVEL 3 evacuation means that you need to LEAVE IMMEDIATELY! Danger to your area is current or imminent, and you should evacuate immediately. DO NOT delay leaving to gather any belongings or make efforts to protect your home. Access to evacuated areas may be denied until conditions are safe for citizens to return. DO NOT plan to return to check on your house or animals.

According to Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey, about 40 structures have been lost and 5 have been damaged.

Cal Fire said strong winds pushed the fire to the east and north, creating extremely difficult conditions for firefighters working to access steep terrain.

"The salient feature there is probably the drought," said Fire Behavior Analyst Tim Chavez during a press conference. "With the scant rainfall this winter, fuels are in August-type conditions. So that's been part of the problem the last 24 hours. "

Chavez said a change in weather could be coming, bringing good news for fire crews.

He said a red flag warning was in place on Thursday and Friday, but that warning has since expired, meaning wind speeds are expected to decrease and humidity is expected to improve.

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