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Wind-driven fire north of Chiloquin tops 2,000 acres; evacuations, Hwy. 97 closed

A campground host describes what it was like to evacuate as the 242 Fire approached.
Two Four Two Fire SCOFMP 97
S. Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership
Flames from the fast-moving Two Four Two Fire, which spread to 1,000 acres near Chiloquin in just hours Monday night
Hwy. 97 closure Two Four Two Fire 97
ODOT TripCheck

(Update: Fire at 2,000 acres, new details, comments from park host)

CHILOQUIN, Ore. (KTVZ) – A new, wind-driven wildfire north of Chiloquin prompted more evacuations and still had U.S. Highway 97 closed Tuesday morning, having grown to more than 2,000 acres, U.S. Forest Service officials said.

About 400 homes were threatened by the Two Four Two Fire, which was spotted Monday evening and has continued to move to the south-southwest,  Fremont-Winema National Forest spokeswoman Tamara Schmidt said.

A new Level 3 “Go Now” evacuation order was in place for Oregon Shores 2 and sheriff’s deputies and area firefighters were notifying residents, she said. Oregon Shores 1 was under a Level 2 “Get Ready” pre-evacuation alert and residents were advised to get organized and prepared for an immediate evacuation, if necessary.

“If they feel unsafe, they are advised to evacuate, rather than wait to be notified,” Schmidt added.

The closure on U.S. Highway 97 extended from the junction with Oregon Highway 62 south of Chiloquin to Forest Road 9732 at Oux Kanee Overlook.  Oregon Highway 422 North was also closed, as well as Highway 62 between Highway 97 and Highway 422 North.

Highway 97 remained closed between mileposts 241 and 249, ODOT reported. Get updates at our ODOT TripCheck page.

The fire broke out north of Collier Springs on the Fremont-Winema National Forest's Chiloquin Ranger District, the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership reported.

The wind-driven fire was short-range spotting to the south and growing rapidly Monday night, burning on both sides of Highway 97 with extreme fire behavior. 

By 11 p.m., the fire had moved nearly three miles from its initial reported location near the Williamson River Campground, moving to the south-southwest.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

As of late Monday night, there were 20 engines, two hand crews and five bulldozers assigned to the fire.  More resources had been ordered.

Highway 97 was closed between the intersection with state Highway 422 North and South Chiloquin Road, north to Forest Road 9732 at Oux Kanee Overlook.  Oregon State Police and Oregon Department of Transportation are handling the road closure.

The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office and local fire departments were conducting evacuations in the area.  Collier State Park was evacuated earlier in the evening.

There was a Level 3 evacuation for Collier State Park and residents to the west of the park, as well as residents in Woodland Park.  Most of the residents in the area had been evacuated, officials said.

A campground host at Collier State Park told NewsChannel 21 early Tuesday the fire rushed in too quickly for campers to pack up everything, but thanks to a team effort, everyone got out safely.

"It was a controlled panic," Micki Forrester said. "Everybody did a great job of packing up and getting out, and the people that had packed up who didn't have as much to pack up and got packed up really quickly, they were helping other people pack up."

A Level 2 (Be Set) evacuation notice was in place for state Highway 422 North between Highway 97 and state Highway 62, as well as for Highway 62 between mileposts 94 and 98, from the intersection with Highway 422 North to the state fish hatchery.  Residents in this area should be prepared to evacuate quickly if notified.

A Level 1 (Be Ready) evacuation notice was in place south of Highway 422 North to the junction of highways 97 and 62, south of Chiloquin.  Residents in this area should be monitoring the situation and taking measures to prepare for evacuation.

The Red Cross was establishing an evacuation center at Kla-Mo-Ya Casino south of Chiloquin.  There was not a number set up for the evacuation center yet.  Evacuees or those with questions are advised to not call 911 unless it is an emergency, but instead go to Kla-Mo-Ya in person.

The local South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) Type 3 Team took management of the fire at 6 a.m. Tuesday

One Red Flag Warning in the area expired at 11 p.m. Monday. However, there is still a Red Flag Warning in the area Tuesday from 10 a.m. to midnight for strong gusty winds and low relative humidity.

For more information, visit the SCOFMP Facebook page at or InciWeb at

Article Topic Follows: Fire Alert

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