Klamath Falls – Fire crews in Klamath County are battling a wildfire that has grown to about 1,500 acres, burning brush and timber in an area about four miles from Klamath Falls. Smoke from the Simpson Fire is so thick that it is difficult for air attack to see where the fire’s boundary is, said Anne Maloney, spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Forestry.
Winds were expected to pick up Friday afternoon, further hampering efforts to fight the fire which is burning in an area called Swan Lake. No homes are currently threatened.
The fire initially threatened two houses, but winds pushed the fire up a ridge and away from them, Maloney said.
The Oregon Department of Forestry has so far given no estimate on when the fire would be contained. More than 500 people were fighting the fire, both on the ground and in the air on Friday, Maloney said.
The fire started on private land, but fire investigators have not yet pinpointed its exact cause.
Elsewhere in Oregon, fire officials said the Blossom Complex wildfire is burning down the canyon at an 80-degree slope, threatening historic fishing lodges along the Rogue River.
The fire has blackened nearly 500 acres. Jeree Mills, of the Northwest Interagency Fire Coordination Center, said firefighters are getting a handle on it.
Meanwhile, the Solitude fire near Gold Beach has grown to more than 120 acres. And in Vale, north of Burns, in Eastern Oregon, quite a few lightning hits caused a fire that consumed 900 acres of brush before firefighters were able to extinguish it.