We needed some more smoke.
Wildfire activity in Southern Oregon and Northern California intensified Tuesday as multiple new fires were spotted in the region.
The Lost Forest Fire was sparked between Christmas Valley and Wagontire, in Lake County. Latest reports placed the fire at 90 acres and 15 percent containment with the fire spreading slowly as crews responded.
The Naylox Fire was spotted near Hagelstein Park after a barn caught fire on Algoma Road, north of Klamath Falls. On Wednesday, the fire was reported at 400 acres and 5 percent contained as it spread eastward.
Due to fire activity, Algoma Road was closed between Old Fort Road and Highway 97 as well as Forest Service Road 9718. Five residences and the campground at Hagelstein Park were evacuated and a sixth residence was notified of the potential need to evacuate.
The Jade Creek Fire was spotted in timberland near Gearhart Mountain, northeast of Bly. On Wednesday it was reported at 120 acres and was expected to spread quickly due to numerous dead trees in the area killed by beetle infestations. Corral Springs Campground and Corral Creek Trailhead were closed due to the fire.
The Owens Fire was spotted on Owens Road north of Dorris, Calif., near the intersection with Highway 97. On Wednesday it was reported at 55 acres and 65 percent containment. Highway 97 was closed due to the fire.
The causes of each of these new fires were under investigation as of Wednesday.
Old fires still burning
As these new fires grew, crews continued working to establish and maintain lines on larger fires in the area.
The North Pelican Fire, burning north of Rocky Point, was reported at 1,728 acres and 18 percent containment Wednesday. Crews continue to be challenged by dangerous terrain.
The High Cascades Complex, west of Crater Lake, was reported at 25,230 acres and 38 percent containment Wednesday. Top priorities were the Broken Lookout and Windy Gap fires, which were threatening the Union Creek Community, and the Blanket Creek and Spruce Lake fires, burning within Crater Lake National Park.
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — The Air Quality outlook for today Wednesday, August 30, 2017 8:00 am to 8:00 am Thursday August 31, 2017.
Today is expected to be in the unhealthy for all and very unhealthy for all range. The Weather Service is forecasting southwest and northwest winds today on into the evening and early morning hours tomorrow.
Due to the northwest and southwest winds forecasted for today and tonight, it is anticipated that the air quality conditions will stay in the unhealthy for all and very unhealthy for all range for most of Klamath County, Rocky Point, Chiloquin and Fort Klamath areas. The smoke will be coming in from the Miller Complex fire that is south of the Klamath Basin and the High Cascades Complex near Crater Lake, and the North Pelican fire in Rocky Point and the Nalox fire at Algoma and the 97 Hwy.
Unhealthy air quality means everyone can be affected. Individuals with lung diseases, such as asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, should follow their health care provider’s advice about prevention and treatment of symptoms. When smoke levels are high enough, even healthy people may experience symptoms. Remember, local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly, depending on weather factors including wind direction. Anyone can conduct a visual assessment of smoke levels. To learn how to use visibility to measure risk of health effects: http://www.oregon.gov/deq/aq/Pages/Wildfires-Visibility.aspx
Sensitive groups should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Consider moving activities indoors and/or reschedule events. Klamath County Public Health recommends that everyone reduce all prolonged or heavy exertion taking place both indoors and outdoors. For individuals who are unable to stay indoors, it is advised to take regular breaks from all activities.
Weather conditions and smoke levels can vary dramatically during wildfires, not only from one day to the next but also on an hourly basis. Smoke may impact one portion of a community but not necessarily another in close vicinity.
If citizens have additional questions or concerns, they can contact Klamath County Public Health for the latest threats to health conditions from smoke.