Flash floods last week pushed burned soil, rocks and downed timber into the river, killing off, according to local tribal leaders, thousands of fish.
Kathy Shoopman had worked as fire lookout since 1974. The 73-year-old died in her Klamath River home in the McKinney Fire.
Ecologist says “the Klamath Forest has the most diverse, temperate conifer forest of any region here, some would argue of the world.”
Karuk Tribe suspects debris flow in Klamath River due to flash flooding over a burned area
The scenic Northern California hamlet of Klamath River was home to about 200 people, a community center where they gathered, a corner store and a post office. But the wildfire raging through the forested region near the Oregon state line jumped the river last weekend, killing four residents of the tiny community and turning most of its homes and businesses to ash.
The McKinney Fire, burning in Siskiyou County near the Oregon-California border, is causing new problems. On Friday, biologists with the Karuk Tribe identified thousands of dead fish of all species in areas where muddy debris flows had entered the river.
The McKinney Fire grew very little on Tuesday but it is still not contained. Firefighters are moving to make progress as drier and hotter weather is expected over the next few days.
Yurok Tribe Environmental Department has advised vistors of the Klamath River to be aware of blue green algae in the water.
On Saturday, July 23, citizens of the Klamath Tribes will host the second day of Rally for the C’waam and Koptu, highlighting the importance of these endemic fish, also known as the Lost River suckerfish and shortnose suckerfish. The two-day festivities kicked off Friday with a community art build in Chiloquin and will resume at the Klamath Tribes Community Center at 11 a.m. in Chiloquin with a caravan rally to Klamath Falls. The caravan will lead to the Klamath headgates, where visitors will be treated to a guest speaker. The event will conclude back at the community center, where an information session and community feed will take place at 2:30 p.m.
Scientists at the Oregon Institute of Technology were recently awarded a $1 million grant from the federal government that could result in research that improves health outcomes in Southern Oregon due to wildfire smoke. Since 2019, a team of Oregon Tech scientists has been studying the capacity of hospitals in the Rogue Valley to handle patients arriving with respiratory problems during wildfires when air quality plummets due to wildfires.