Bootleg Fire in Oregon Is 74 Percent Contained, Officials Say
Several days of rain have helped in the fight against the fire, which has consumed more than 400,000 acres.
The Bootleg Fire in Oregon is 74 percent contained, officials say.
Firefighters working amid heavy ash and dust to help contain the Bootleg Fire near Silver Lake, Ore., last week.Credit…Maranie Staab/Reuters
By Azi Paybarah
Aug. 2, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ET
The destructive Bootleg Fire in Oregon, which was ignited by lightning in early July and has grown to more than 400,000 acres, now appears to be mostly contained, after recent weather conditions helped firefighters gain the upper hand on the blaze, state officials announced on Sunday.
The Oregon Department of Forestry said the fire was 74 percent contained, up from 56 percent containment a day earlier.
“Cloud cover and rain over the last couple of days have moderated fire behavior,” the department said in a statement on Sunday. “These favorable conditions have allowed crews on the ground, with continued air support, to make good progress on the fire line.”
The fire is nearly 30 miles northeast of Klamath Falls, and has consumed about 413,000 acres, the department said. More than 1,800 personnel were working to bring the fire under control.
Since the Bootleg Fire began on July 6, there has been “significant damage to personal property” but no fatalities, Al Nash, a spokesman working with fire officials, said in an interview on Sunday. Considering that the fire had been “advancing 30,000 acres a day, for several days, that’s a remarkable thing for us to be able to say,” he said.
But the gains that have been made with the help of the weather could be tested soon. “We are dependent on weather conditions to aid our success,” he said.
By Tuesday or Wednesday, the department said, “warmer temperatures, low humidity, and gusty winds are likely to create conditions for rapid fire spread.”
“There remains a vulnerability because we expect hot, dry and windy weather,” Mr. Nash said. “The threat remains but it is nowhere near as significant as it was, because of the work that has been accomplished.”
Firefighters also made progress battling the Dixie Fire in Northern California, the state’s largest wildfire this year. The blaze has consumed at least 244,000 acres, with 33 percent containment, fire officials said in a statement on Sunday. “Full containment” was expected by Aug. 13, it said.