Golden Fire forces Klamath County evacuations, likely human caused
A wildfire first spotted Saturday afternoon (July 22) near Bly Mountain forced evacuations in Klamath County and quick mobilization of firefighters and equipment from around Oregon.
First reports of the Golden Fire came in just before 1 p.m. Saturday. The fire burned through private and Bureau of Land Management land in short order, reaching hundreds of acres by nightfall.
Level 3/Go Now evacuations covered residents East of Highway 140E, North of Keno Springs Lane, and South of Polar Bear Lane. Red Cross workers set up an emergency shelter at Bonanza High School. Some evacuated residents were able to return home Sunday morning.
By then, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek had declared a conflagration, making the fire a priority for firefighting crews and equipment.
Sunday morning estimates pegged the fire's size at around 2,000 acres, with a Red Flag Warning in effect for optimal conditions for the fire spreading: high heat, low humidity, and breezy winds.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, according to the Klamath County Sheriff's office. But in a press release, law enforcement officials said the fire was probably caused by human activity, and added "Initial information is that the fire began on private property being used to grow marijuana illegally."
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