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Gap Fire destroys two more structures

SEIAD VALLEY — The Gap fire has reportedly destroyed two more structures.

Whether those structures, which were destroyed in the area of Hick's Gulch on the Klamath River's north side, were homes was not immediately available. No homeowners have been injured, according to fire information officer Mike Theune.

That brings the total number of structures destroyed to 25. Of that number, nine of the structures have been confirmed as homes by the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office, while 14 others were outbuildings.

The wildfire, which has been burning in the Seiad Valley since Sunday, Aug. 27, had grown to nearly 26,000 acres by the morning of Monday, Sept. 5. U.S. Forest Service officials estimate the blaze is about 30 percent contained. As of Monday morning, there were 1,943 personnel assigned to the blaze.

Homes on Ladd Road west from Hick's Gulch to Walker Gulch, all on the Klamath River's north side, are under mandatory evacuation. Mandatory evacuations also remain in place for homes on both sides of Highway 96 between Scott River Road and Walker Gulch, including Hamburg.

Advisory evacuations have also been issued for residents along Highway 96 west from Walker Gulch, which includes the town of Seiad Valley, and along Seiad Creek Road from Seiad Valley to Panther Gulch.

An emergency closure order for some Klamath and Rogue River-Siskiyou national forestlands also remains in effect. The closure boundary starts at the intersection of Highway 96 and the Pacific Crest Trail and travels north and east to the intersection of the PCT and Forest Road No. 47N01 at Warps Gap. It continues southeast along the northeastern edge of West Beaver Road (or Forest Road No. 47N01) to the intersection of Beaver Creek Road, or Forest Road 11. It then travels south along the western edge of Beaver Creek Road to the Highway 96 intersection, then west along the northern edge of Highway 96 back to its intersection with the PCT.

Theune said the fire lines on the fire's eastern and western boundaries, located just west of the Beaver Fire footprint and just east of Seiad Creek Road, respectively, are holding well, and that crews have begun mopping up.

"The north side and the south side are the areas they're focusing on, especially the south side," he said.

Temperatures in the area are expected to start heating back up by mid-week, with expected drops in humidity.

The fire's cause is still not known. Anyone with information about the cause is asked to contact the U.S. Forest Service tip line for the Klamath National Forest at 530-841-4474.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.

Thick smoke from the Gap Fire reaches to the sky in Northern California while a U.S. Forest Service engine monitors its movement. Photo by Kaleena Lynde.