September 30, 2007 - Eight fires burn this summer on refuges
Klamath Basin wildlife refuges experienced eight wildfires during the 2007 summer fire season. Together, the fires burned 105 acres at five refuges. Eight fires is about 4 more fires than the Complex's annual average, and near the total number of fires, but less than the total acres burned last season.
The first wildfire occurred on April 01 when a TID ditch burn escaped and consumed 78 acres of a lease field. On May 16, a pick-up truck driven into an Area K field on Lower Klamath NWR became stuck, overheated and ignited 5.7 acres of grass stubble. The next day a fire was discovered at Bear Valley NWR. The 0.2 acre fire was ignited by lightning a few day prior, but quietly smoldered until enough heat generated visible smoke and an ensuing response by crews.
On June 01, the Clear Fire started at Clear Lake NWR following a lightning storm. The 26 acres fire was quickly contained by refuge and forest service firefighters. A month later on July 07, lightning sparked a 1.3 acres fire on Tule Lake NWRs Sheepy Ridge followed on July 11 by a 0.2 acre lightning fire at Klamath Marsh NWR. On August 01 and 28, two fires were started on Modoc NWR by workers repairing refuge equipment. They consumed less than one acre combined.
While the summer 2007 wildfire season has been declared over in the Klamath Basin, dry vegetation still poses an extreme risk for more fires. Refuge visitors are reminded to smoke in vehicles or designated areas. Campfires, warming fires and incendiary devices are prohibited on the refuges.