Klamathon Fire burns into Hornbrook, California, closes I-5

Klamathon Fire

(Above: CHP photo)

(UPDATED at 12:37 p.m. PDT July 6, 2018)

From KOBI5:

A civilian has died due to the Klamathon Fire, CAL FIRE reported Friday morning. The identification of the person will be released after further investigation and notification of next-of-kin. No further information was released.

(UPDATED at 7 a.m. PDT July 6, 2018)

CAL FIRE reported at 6 a.m. MDT Friday that the Klamathon Fire along Interstate 5 just south of the Oregon border is now 8,000 acres with “multiple structures threatened and damaged or destroyed”. Evacuation orders are in effect.

The California Highway Patrol is now escorting traffic on Interstate 5 through the burned area.

(Originally published at 3:35 a.m. PDT July 6, 2018)

The Klamathon Fire that started Thursday afternoon under windy conditions in northern California spread very quickly into the small community of Hornbrook. Burning on both sides of Interstate 5 it kept going north at least another seven miles to another small town, Hilt, which is about a mile south of the Oregon border.

CAL FIRE said approximately 5,000 acres and multiple structures have burned.

Interstate 5, the major thoroughfare connecting California and Oregon, was closed Thursday night between Yreka, CA and Ashland, OR.

Klamathon Fire
Klamathon Fire, Friday night. CHP photo.
Klamathon Fire
Klamathon Fire, Friday night. CHP photo.

While the fire was growing quickly Thursday afternoon a 20 to 26 mph south wind was pushing it along the Interstate. By midnight the wind slowed to just a few miles per hour and that trend is predicted to continue Friday, but the relative humidity will still be low, around 15 percent. This should slow the spread somewhat, but now firefighters have thousands of acres of fire to contend with.

map Klamathon fire
Map showing the approximate location of the Klamathon Fire at 11:41 p.m. PDT July 5, 2018. The red dots are the most current. We hope to replace this with a better map when it becomes available.

There are no details yet about the extent of damage in the communities, but the early indications are that it could be severe.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.