Yesterday afternoon (12/5/18) a column of smoke could be seen over the top of Hogback Mountain near Klamath Falls. Today, the Oregon Department of Forestry confirmed that the smoke and glow of the fire is due to a controlled burn of large slash piles related to a logging operation on the east side of Hogback Mountain.
A bit of panic set in as the sun set and citizens could see the glow of a fire along the top of the ridge near North Ridge Estates atop Old Fort Road. Numerous calls came into Klamath County Fire District 1 as well as here at Klamath Falls News. Worried and concerned Basin residents fear that a catastrophic fire like the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif. could happen here. Especially after the Link Trail fire came so close to neighborhoods this summer.
Celeste Aldinger told Klamath Falls News that Klamath County Fire District 1 had received multiple calls/questions regarding the smoke behind Hogback Mountain. In response, Aldinger posted an update to the KCFD1 Facebook Page: “This is a controlled burn of a slash pile for a logging operation located on private property. It has been verified by ODF and KCFD1”
The fires glow could be seen from locations throughout areas of Klamath Falls and Swan Lake.
According to the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership, the recent changes in weather allow for more controlled burns to occur in the last couple of weeks.
“The Fremont-Winema NF, BLM (Lakeview & Klamath Falls resource areas), US Fish and Wildlife, ODF, and private landowners are busy with pile burning and cleaning up areas where the fuels have been treated,” states SCOFMP. “Some large landing piles (logging slash) in the Hogback Mountain area were lit on private land that seems to be causing concern for people that had a visual last night.”
“The more fuel that we can burn in a controlled environment reduces the risk for large fires later on,” continues SCOFMP.
Klamath Falls News will continue to monitor the burn and update as information becomes available.