I’m sorry to report that an area of the forest that I considered to be a likely Bigfoot habitat near Happy Camp has been incinerated by a recent forest fire. The Little Grider Fire ignited on top of a hill right next to the one I live on on July 14, 2007.
A lightning storm three days before brought over 1200 lightning strikes to the Klamath National Forest. By the next day fire fighters were working to control about 55 fires. The Little Grider Fire probably smoldered a few days before bursting into flames. The only other explanation is that it could have been intentionally set, but that’s very unlikely and locally, nobody seems to believe or talk about that theory.
Here in Happy Camp, we’re used to having fire fighting activity during the summer – but usually the fires are far enough away from town that we’re not terribly concerned about anything but air quality issues. This year, however, the fire was less than a mile from town between my home and Little Grider Creek.
I was out of town for my birthday on July 13. When I arrived home the next evening at 11:30pm, I was shocked and worried when I saw the forest fire nearby. I contacted a local deputy that night and talked to other local residents while we looked at the fire map outside the post office after midnight. The deputy said evacuations were a strong possibility but that I’d be safe at home that night.
The next few days were full of town meetings, packing, storing valuables, and expecting the worst. But many prayers were answered when a heavy rainstorm stalled and put out most of the fire a few days later.
Still, the fire fighters did a lot of back burning in the area, to decrease underbrush and make the forest around Happy Camp more fire-safe. My partner complained about the animals of our forest whose habitats were being destroyed, and about the air quality, which was wretched. Our valley was full of smoke for days. I’m glad to say that’s over for now and the crews that remain in town are doing mop-up on the Little Grider Fire. The only local people evacuated were those living about ten miles south of town near Elk Creek Road, who were in the path of another fire. Those people are also considered to be Happy Campers though they live outside of town.
I’m very disappointed that this fire spread as far as it did, because I believe that Bigfoot lived in the area. Hopefully if so, they survived in caves, or moved on before the flames reached them.
There have been at least five separate Bigfoot sightings in this area during the last five years, so naturally I had my eye on the nearby forest and have traveled through many times, hoping to see something while driving on the old logging roads.
The map shows the area of the Little Grider Fire, about half-way through it. The stars are Bigfoot sighting locations nearby. Here’s a list of some of those local sightings:
1. A man claimed to have seen a Bigfoot on the hill above Buckhorn Road in 2005. He later recanted.
2. Other sightings also took place on Buckhorn Road in 2005. An unusually large Bigfoot footprint was found half-way up that hill later that summer. The reporter had two separate sighting experiences within a month.
3. An unconfirmed sighting reported to me took place at a picnic table near the airport. A man said he was eating lunch and noticed young Bigfoot (possibly more than one) playing in the forest nearby. I don’t know the year this happened, so it may not have been recent.
4. In 2002 a local teenager was driving down Highway 96 when he saw a large dark creature run across the road near Little Grider Creek.
5. In 2005 a Southern California minister said he saw a large dark creature jump down onto the highway in front of his car, then stand and cross the highway in only two strides.
I don’t want you to think that this fire destroyed all our local Bigfoot habitat; there have been Bigfoot sightings in other areas nearby, and you can tell from the photo above that the Klamath National Forest is vast, with many thousands of acres of possible Bigfoot territory. But this area of the Little Grider Fire was what I considered to be our best local hot spot because of the number of sightings in the area.