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Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune
Several cars were destroyed on a property off of Cottonwood Creek Road near the town of Hornbrook.

Fatality in Klamathon fire identified


Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey has identified the man who was killed during the Klamathon fire as 72-year-old John Karl Bermel.

Lopey identified him during a community meeting Wednesday night in Ashland.

Bermel was found on his property on Pilot Street in Hornbrook.

Lopey said Bermel died July 5, the day the fire broke out, during a mandatory evacuation in that neighborhood. Evidence showed he was packing up his truck with his belongings when he was overcome by the flames.

The autopsy results were released Wednesday, but toxicology results have not come back yet, Lopey said.

As of Thursday morning, the fire had burned through 36,500 acres and was 70 percent contained, according to Cal Fire. Three firefighters have been injured, including one who suffered facial burns after his engine caught fire on the first day. Eighty-two structures have been destroyed in the fire. A total of 2,299 fire personnel and 121 fire engines have been battling the flames, which crossed the Oregon border and prompted evacuations Friday in the Colestin Valley and on Mt. Ashland Ski Road.

All evacuation orders have been lifted, though residents in the Copco Lake area in Northern California remain under an evacuation warning.

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