The West Klondike Fire burning 8 miles south of Agness has burned 132,420 acres and is 51 percent contained as of Tuesday afternoon, fire officials announced.
The fire has been burning about 2,000 acres a day through old fire scars where little fuel remains. At the north edge, dry winds allowed to fire so spread northeast in a finger along Forest Road 2308 and north along Slim Creek, where moderate fire activity is forecast. The areas West Indigo and Little Silver creeks areas are also expected to be affected.
Tuesday, firefighters secured lines from Horse Sign Butte west to Game Lake Peak and south to Saddle Mountain.
Fire crews continue to conduct backfire operations to create burned areas through which the wildfire can’t progress, according to Mark Jamieson, incident commander of the West Klondike Fire. And mop-up operations are underway in various locations, as well.
Cooler temperatures and lower winds more typical of this time of year have helped firefighters keep an upper hand on the local fires, Jamieson said.
Because fire activity is tapering off, the Joint Information Center that has been providing information to the public will no longer be open. People seeking information about the West Klondike Fire can call 541-247-6789.
The Klondike Fire and neighboring Taylor Creek Fire — that wildfire has remained stagnant at 52,839 acres and is 95 percent contained — were divided into two operations area last month.
The West Klondike Fire, which is closer to Agness and Gold Beach, is managed by a team based at the fairgrounds in Gold Beach, and the East Klondike and Taylor Creek fires burning near Grants Pass, are managed by a team based in Selma.
In between is vast wilderness of steep and craggy mountains and few trails or roads to access the fire.
Bear Camp Road has reopened — with restrictions. Only Agness and Galice residents, special permit-holders for Rogue River trips and mining claims, and Black Bar Lodge guests are permitted to use the road.
It will, however, be closed again when firing operations begin again.
Specifically, the Bureau of Land Management has closed Bear Camp Road from the Merlin-Galice Road to the U.S. Forest Service boundary. Forest closures around the Klondike Fire include roads 4103, 4105, 2512 and 2402-676.
Some roads fire crews opened this summer, too, will remain open in anticipation of future wildfires, Jamieson said.
More information about closures can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/rogue-siskiyou/alerts-notices.
More than 1,200 firefighters are on the West Klondike Fire, but some have had to leave to attend to personal business in the Carolinas, where Hurricane Florence, a Category 5 hurricane, is barreling down on the Eastern Seaboard.
For future wildland fire information, contact the Rogue River/Siskiyou National Forest at 541-618-2114 or the Oregon Department of Forestry at 541-474-3328.
Reach Jane Stebbins at email@example.com .