Aug 29, 2023


A homeowner who lives within the fires footprint checks the map at the Golden Fire Community Meeting. July 25, 2023 (Image: Brian Gailey)

Tyler Arbogast from ODF IMT2 speaks to the crowd at the Golden Fire Community Meeting. July 25, 2023 (Image: Brian Gailey)

BONANZA, Ore. – Throughout the day, fire crews have been reinforcing fire lines and remove remaining hot spots along the fire’s edge. Tonight, several hundred locals attended a community meeting at Bonanza School. Tomorrow, crews will progress deeper into the burned area to cool down hot spots, so that heat that could threaten the security of the fire line is extinguished.

On Wednesday, crews will continue to work around structures to mop up 50 feet and in some places up to 100 feet.

Incident managers are optimistic about the efforts and progress that have been made. However, they encourage people to stay vigilant and updated on conditions.

Lumen LLC will begin working along Highway 140 to replace approximately 25,000 feet of fiber optic cable between Bly Mountain Cutoff Road to Polar Bear Lane. The work will start at 9:00 A.M., Wednesday, July 26, and they estimate completion by 3:00 P.M., July 26. Crews replacing the fiber will have flag protection while conducting the work. Replacing the fiber optic cable is critical work that will restore connectivity to many essential services in Lake County.

Weather conditions are expected to continue with a similar pattern as today, with the potential to be a little hotter and drier. Gusty winds are expected to be 20-25 mph. Lower nighttime temperatures will assist with diminishing fire activity. The extended forecast predicted no real change in weather.

Evacuations downgraded as of July 25th:

Level 3 (GO NOW) - evacuation area is now reduced to a quarter-mile perimeter around the fire and the interior of the fire. Evacuation is maintained along Hummingbird Drive and Sandpiper Drive.

Level 2 (BE READY) - area follows west of Bechdoldt Flat Rd, south of Racoon Lane and Jaguar Lane. It also extends east of the Golden Fire, approximately 3-4 miles to the powerline corridor.

Level 1 (GET SET) - area now includes the west side of Hwy 140 to Golden Eagle Drive and north to Parrot Drive.

For the most current evacuation information, call the Klamath County hotline at 541-205-9730, and sign up for Klamath County alerts at American Red Cross and Klamath County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) have established an evacuation shelter at Bonanza School, 31601 Mission Street, Bonanza, OR 97623.

Golden Fire evacuations as of the evening of July 25, 2023. Click to enlarge

The cause of the fire is still under investigation and will be determined by fire investigators from the Oregon Department of Forestry, detectives from the Klamath County Sheriff’s, and the Oregon State Police.

The Unified Command, of Oregon State Fire Marshall and Oregon Department of Forestry held a successful community meeting tonight at Bonanza Jr./Sr. High School. The public information meeting informed the Bonanza Community about the actions of firefighters, the plan of fire officials, and fielded comments and questions from the audience.

The meeting started with updates from fire officials and evacuation information from law enforcement. When opened to the audience for comments, the first several on the mic thanked the first responders of Klamath County Fire District 5 for their quick work on the initial call. Fire officials from the Oregon State Fire Marshals Office then proceeded to inform; that if, it was not for the quick response of FD5, the Golden Fire would have been much more catastrophic.

Near the end of the meeting, several in attendance voiced frustration with local government policy on the winter burning of timber waste and the drilling of groundwater resources. Commissioner Derrick DeGroot briefly addressed the issues stating the commissioners’ office will look into the process before also thanking firefighters.

A video of the community meeting recorded by the Oregon Department of Forestry will be posted here as soon as it is available.

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