Mail Tribune

Mail Tribune

Firefighters battling a rare Halloween wildfire deep in the Red Buttes Wilderness are getting a treat from Mother Nature.

A storm sweeping in from the coast was expected to help douse the 80-90 acre Cameron fire with rain through Tuesday, according to National Weather Service forecasts. Rain began falling on the fire late Thursday morning.

The fire is believed to be human caused.

"We're using the rain as a suppression tool," said Patty Burel, spokeswoman for the Rogue River-Siskyiou National Forest. "The rain, in conjunction with firefighting activity, will blend together to put the fire out."

Discovered by Klamath National Forest personnel on Wednesday, the fire is burning on the south flank of Mount Emily near Cameron Meadows, a half dozen air miles southwest of Applegate Lake. The fire is burning at about 6,000 feet elevation in the Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District.

Access to the site is via a 41/2-hour hike through steep terrain. Ten forest employees and a 20-person contract crew have been dispatched to the fire along with a helicopter, Burel said.

"It's real rugged going up there," she said, noting the size of the fire is a very rough estimate.

Fire season ended early this month, but fire officials have continued to urge those traveling in the woods to use caution when camping.

"We're pretty certain it is human caused," Burel said. "Anyone out there needs to make sure campfires are put out."

Although rain is expected for the next few days, the region has had scant rainfall for the last four months, officials said.

"It's not unheard of to have late fires like this," Burel said. "But we're getting rain now. That's good news."

Reach reporter Paul Fattig at 776-4496 or e-mail him at pfattig@mailtribune.com.