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New fire burns 3,000 acres on Klamath Marsh Wildlife Refuge, Fremont-Winema Forest; most growth stopped

Citizen reported Marsh Fire burning Saturday on Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge
John Welch/US Fish & Wildlife Service
Citizen reported Marsh Fire burning Saturday on Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge

Cause under investigation; blaze creeping slowly in marsh

CHILOQUIN, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Cooler weather and rain is helping reduce fire behavior on several large, weeks-old blazes around Oregon, but new blazes continue to emerge, including one that has burned about 3,000 acres on the Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge and the Fremont-Winema National Forest.

The Marsh Fire, reported by a citizen Saturday afternoon, was burning near Silver Lake Highway and Military Crossing. It is 0% contained and the cause is under investigation, officials said in Monday's update.

But the fire is only growing, and creeping slowly at that, toward the southwest in the marsh, fire Public Information Manager John Fitzroy said Monday afternoon.

“It’s stuck in the marsh – we’re fortunate it’s not in the peat," he said. "If it was in the peat, it could last for months.”

Firefighters have the blaze stopped on Military Crossing Road and at a bulldozer line where it reached into the forest, Fitzroy said. With rain also falling in the area, barring a major wind event or some other big issue, things are looking good, he added: “They’re already mopping up in the timber.”

Monday's update from the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership continues in full below:

Multiple ground and air resources from throughout South-Central Oregon are on scene. Due to poor air quality, the use of air tankers and helicopters is limited for aerial support and accurate mapping.

Fire resources will strengthen the primary lines and continue to look for opportunities to construct fire lines in the marsh today. The presence of water in the marsh is sporadic, making it difficult for ground resources to access for suppression. Crews will also start mopping up the fire edge in the timber to help hold already-constructed fireline.

Fire officials are asking the public to avoid the area of the fire so that fire resources can continue to provide suppression efforts. A fire camp has been established at the Chiloquin Rodeo Grounds. The public is asked to drive with care and be aware that the incident may cause an increase in fire traffic along Military Crossing Road and Silver Lake Highway.

South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership provides comprehensive wildland fire services to more than eight million acres of land administered by the Bureau of Land Management Lakeview District; Fremont-Winema National Forest; Oregon Department of Forestry Klamath-Lake District; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex; and Crater Lake National Park. The area encompasses federal, state and private lands within south central Oregon and northwest Nevada.

Article Topic Follows: Fire Alert

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