Gopher Fire: Firefighters Continue to Focus on Improving Containment Lines

Gopher Fire remains 340 acres burning 11 miles east of Prospect, Ore. in the Sky Lakes Wilderness.(Inciweb)

Gopher Fire remains 340 acres burning 11 miles east of Prospect, Ore. in the Sky Lakes Wilderness.(Inciweb)

PROSPECT, Ore. - Firefighters continue to focus on improving containment lines on the west and southwest flanks. The damp weather over the last several days may have opened an opportunity for firefighters to build fire line directly against or near the fire's perimeter on the south flank.

Four additional sets of tree fallers have been ordered to help reduce the risk of injury from falling snags and fire-weakened trees. This remains a full suppression fire, with the objective of stopping the fire where the risk to firefighters is minimized and the probability of success is maximized.

Area map of the location of the #GopherFire. (Inciweb)
Click for larger

"We are making good progress and we are going to get this done, but the fire is in steep and difficult terrain, in a large, old snag patch. I need everyone to be alert, take care of yourselves, and take care of each other," said Dave Palmer, High Cascades District Ranger, to the firefighters at the shift briefing.

Cool, moist, showery weather will continue over the fire Tuesday and, as a result, fire spread rates and active fire behavior should remain subdued today. Thunderstorms are possible later today, which could bring the threat of lightning and gusty and erratic winds near the fire. Beginning tomorrow, warmer and drier conditions should prevail for the rest of the week.

Resources on the fire currently include: 13 20-person hand crews, 4 Type 1 helicopters, 1 Type 2 helicopter, 1 Type 3 helicopter, and 1 dozer. A total of 319 personnel are assigned to the fire.

Closure: A trail and road closure is in place for the health and safety of both the public and firefighters working on the Gopher Fire (Forest Order No. 06-10-24-19-11).

To read the entirety of the closure order and view a map click on the images below or download a copy here.


Planned actions: Continue indirect fire line construction. Scout for opportunities to go direct.

Projected incident activity: Rollout expected overnight with small growth anticipated.

Current weather concerns: Cooler, moist, showery weather will continue over the fire Tuesday as an upper level system moves over the area. By afternoon, it will be unstable enough to produce a thunderstorm, and if one moves over the fire it will produce heavy downpours and gusty erratic winds.


The Gopher Fire is located in the Sky Lakes Wilderness, approximately 11 miles east of Prospect. The fire is currently 340 acres and is the result of 5 small fires that burned together after the lightning storm that moved through the area September 5th. The fire is burning within the perimeter of the 2008 Middle Fork Fire.

Gopher Fire Details

Cause: Lightning

Size: 340 acres

Containment: n/a

Sky Lakes Wilderness
Klamath-Jackson County Line

Medium logging slash

319 Personnel
13 Hand Crews
4 Type 1 Helicopters
1 Type 2 Helicopter
1 Type 3 Helicopter
1 Dozer

Klamath Falls News coverage of the 2019 Wildfire Season is brought to you by Ace Towing and Turn Thom Point S.