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Highway 96 reopens after fires in Klamath National Forest

Highway 96 has reopened in Siskiyou County as firefighters make progress on containing the Tree Fire and Community Fire in the Klamath National Forest.

Posted: Jul 27, 2019 12:41 PM
Updated: Jul 30, 2019 4:01 PM

UPDATE 4:02 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, 2019 - The Tree and Community Fires are now 65% contained. 

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UPDATE 2:50 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, 2019 - Highway 96 has reopened in Siskiyou County as firefighters make progress on containing the Tree Fire and Community Fire in the Klamath National Forest. 

The Tree fire is near the Tree of Heaven Campground and has burned 83 acres. It is 60% contained. 

The Community Fire is burning near the Klamath River Community Hall. It is also 60% contained and has burned 35 acres. 

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UPDATE 10:08 a.m. Sunday, July 28, 2019 - The Community Fire is 35 acres in size and is 50 percent contained. The cause is under investigation. 60 firefighters are working to continue the mop-up and secure the handline around the fire.

The Tree Fire is 83 acres in size and is also 50 percent contained. 140 people continue to construct handline and mop up the secure the handline that has already been placed around the fire perimeter. Firefighters plan to complete handlines on Sunday and expect the fire will be contained by Thursday.

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UPDATE 5:35 p.m. Saturday, July 27, 2019 - Our reporter on the scene spoke with a public information officer for the Klamath National Forest who said responders to the two fires burning along the Klamath River and Highway 96 include CAL FIRE, the U.S. Forest Service and the local volunteer fire department.

There are 90 personnel battling the Tree Fire and 60 more working to contain the Community Fire.

200 additional firefighters are expected and will be spread out between the two different fires burning along the river corridor.

As for aerial support, there are seven air tankers and six helicopters involved at this time.

Highway 96 still has closures that move from one side of the highway to the other, depending upon the fire and firefighting activities. The forest service spokesperson said it is a constantly changing scenario.

Officials said they do not know how the fires started.

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UPDATE 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 27, 2019 - Highway 96 is closed westbound due to the fires burning along the Klamath River. The closure is at the junction of State Route 263 to 5.6 miles east of Horse Creek in Siskiyou County. There is no detour available.  - Due to fire a detour is not available motorists are advised to use an alternate route.

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UPDATE 3:24 p.m. Saturday, July 27, 2019 - The Community Fire has now burned 30 acres.

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UPDATE 3:07 p.m. - The Tree fire is now 50 acres in size. The Community Fire is still being managed at ten acres.

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UPDATE 1:02 p.m. Saturday, July 27, 2019 - The Community Fire is now ten acres in size.

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KLAMATH RIVER, Calif. - Two fires have been reported along the Klamath River Saturday morning.

Both are burning brush and grasses along Highway 96.

TREE FIRE

The Tree Fire started near the Tree of Heaven Campgound on Highway 96. It started at approximately 11:00 a.m.

The fire is currently 30 acres in size. Grass and brush are involved.

Firefighters said they do not yet know the cause of the fire.

COMMUNITY FIRE

The Community Fire started along Highway 96 near the Klamath River Community Hall at approximately 11:15 a.m. on Saturday.

It is located in the community of Klamath River.

The cause of this fire is still unknown.

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Monday was almost as hot as Sunday for most of northern California as a ridge of high pressure controlled our weather. A cooling trend is coming, but it will only cool to seasonable levels in the short term.
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