Firefighters gain upper hand on wildfire near Klamath Falls

Firefighters gain upper hand on wildfire near Klamath Falls
Air tanker makes a retardant drop on the Bryant Fire 20 miles east of the community of Klamath Falls. June 21 photo by Chris Friend, Oregon Department of Forestry

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. - Firefighters expected to have the upperhand on a wildfire near Klamath Falls in the next couple of days.

Managers on the Bryant Fire expect to begin demobilizing some of the 881 firefighters working the blaze by mid-week.

They'll have to hold control lines on the 1,361 acre blaze as unstable weather and above-average temperatures grip the region, however.

As of Monday morning, the fire was 45 percent contained. It has been burning since June 19.

To date, the fire has cost an estimated $2.6 million to fight.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The Oregon Department of Forestry planned a community meeting in the closest town of Bonanza Monday at the high school from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

On Sunday, firefighters completed the fire line perimeter. Bulldozers were used to construct the majority of the fire line perimeter.

On the steepest terrain too rugged for dozers, hand crews completed the remaining sections, completely encompassing the entire fire.

On Monday, firefighters began mop-up. Mop-up involves firefighters digging out hot spots and extinguishing all remaining heat.

Mop-up starts along the perimeter and moves toward the center of the fire. Crews will work around the clock to speed up the fire containment and mop up progress, managers said.