Wildfires in California, Colorado shut down highways

July 6, 2018

Tyson Fisher


Record-breaking heat has been scorching large swaths of the Northern Hemisphere, making conditions ripe for wildfires. At least two wildfires, one in Northern California and one in southern Colorado, are shutting down highways and forcing people to leave their homes.

The Klamathon Fire in Siskiyou County, Calif., has burned 8,000 acres as of publication time. Located off Klamathon Road and Copco Road just south of Hornbrook, Calif., the fire was only at 5 percent containment on Friday morning.

Evacuation orders are in effect for Klamathon Road from Interstate 5 to Ager and all of Hornbrook City all the way to and including Hilt/Colestein valley, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire.

At one point, Interstate 5 was closed in both directions from Yreka, Calif., to the Oregon border, a stretch of more than 20 miles. At 1 p.m. local time on Friday, July 6, The California Highway Patrol in Yreka announced I-5 had reopened without restrictions. The highway patrol requests that motorists do not try to avoid closures by using Ager Road or state Route 263/96.

Caltrans notes that depending on fire conditions the reopening of I-5 can be short-lived. The fire is moving away from the interstate, but any change in conditions can change the path. Motorists should look out for livestock because of downed fences. Major delays are expected.

Over in Colorado, the Spring Creek Fire has burned more than 100,000 acres in Costilla County just northeast of Fort Garland. As of Friday morning, Highway 160 remains closed from La Veta to Fort Garland, Highway 12 is closed from mile marker 7 to mile marker 22.5, and Highway 69 is closed from mile marker 5 to mile marker 42.

Highway 160 was estimated to reopen at approximately 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 7. The Colorado Department of Transportation has no estimated time for the reopening of Highway 12 or Highway 69.

Mandatory evacuations for Huerfano County residents was lifted at 10 a.m. on Friday. Temporary re-entry periods are scheduled for parts of Costilla County on Saturday, July 7.