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Lightning sparks Klamath County marsh fire

Crews are battling a lightning-sparked wildfire in the marsh lands outside of Chiloquin.

The wildfire was reported at 7:46 p.m. Thursday on the Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, roughly 20 miles northeast of Chiloquin, according to Lisa McNee, South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership information officer. As of Friday afternoon, the fire was burning tules and cattails on top of the water. It was estimated at 120 acres.

More than a dozen personnel, including six engines, overhead crews and safety coordinators were on scene of the fire burning south of Silver Lake Highway, McNee said. They were aided by Klamath County Roads traffic flaggers, and Klamath County Sheriff's Deputies directed traffic along the roadway.

Motorists in the area should expect delays of roughly half an hour while crews use the roadway as a containment line to the north. Rain in the forecast for Saturday is expected to help crews battling the flames.

Crews will also use green meadows to the east and west of the burning marsh as natural barriers, and unmanned aircraft systems to accurately map the fire and monitor the fire's activity, according to a press release.

A 120-acre wildfire burns on the Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge Friday afternoon. Photo courtesy South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership