NorCal wildfire threat shuts portion of Pacific Crest Trail

YREKA, Calif. &

The growing threat of a wildfire has prompted the U.S. Forest Service to temporarily close some 16 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in the Klamath National Forest.

The 1,000-acre Anthony Milne wildfire in the Marble Mountain Wilderness some 17 miles southwest of Fort Jones is now burning within three miles of the nationally known trail, said forest spokesman Duane Lyon. The fire, named after a historic campsite, was sparked by a dry lightning storm on June 28.

"We did an initial attack but we had limited resources because of all the other fires burning in California," Lyon said. "It's very difficult terrain. We've had to fly in with smokejumpers, use helicopter rappel crews or have firefighters hike in.

"The resources are still really stretched," he added. "Like just about any fire, we could still use more airplanes, more firefighters."

The popular trail stretching from Canada to the Mexico border is closed from Etna Summit north to where the trail intersects with Canyon Creek. The summit is about six miles as the crow flies southwest of Etna.

Hikers are being told to make a detour when they get to that section of the trail. The town of Etna is offering free camping at the city park and making showers available at the city swimming pool for the hikers, Lyon said.

A bus is also available to shuttle hikers around the closed area.

The Anthony Milne fire along with the 350-acre Caribou wildfire two miles west of the Trinity Alps Wilderness are part of what officials are calling the Bear Wallow complex. Firefighters from as far away as New Jersey's Department of Forestry are fighting the fires, Lyon said.

Officials will closely watch other fires should they become a threat to hikers or other human activity, Lyon said.

On the west side of the forest, the Siskiyou complex some 18 miles southwest of Happy Camp has grown to 37,650 acres. That fire is 16 percent contained. The Ukonom complex burning east of the Klamath River near Somes Bar now covers about 22,000 acres. It is about 22 percent contained.

No communities are currently threatened.

All told, there are now 288 wildfires burning on 717,892 acres in California with a total 21,255 people fighting the blazes, officials said. There are currently no major wildfires in Oregon, albeit smoke from the California fires are flowing into the Southern Oregon airshed.

Additional information about the wildfires is available on the Klamath National Forest Web site at /r5/klamath/ as well as and .

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