Skip to Content
Fire Alert

Stormy weather still fueling activity, posing challenges on 413,000-acre Bootleg Fire

Engine crews prepare for the night shift on the Bootleg Fire
Michael Johnson/InciWeb
Engine crews prepare for the night shift on the Bootleg Fire

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- More scattered showers have done little to stop increased activity on the more than 413,000-acre Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon, but nearly 2,000 firefighters have been able to hold the nation's largest blaze at 53% contained, officials said Friday.

Here's the full update:

Bootleg Update July 30, 2021   

Location: 28 miles northeast of Klamath Falls, OR    Size: 413,545 acres 

Personnel: 1,928                                 Containment: 53% 

(Klamath Falls, OR) – Yesterday was another day of elevated fire activity and the same is expected today. Most flare ups were interior pockets of fuel burning out. In the northwest corner, construction was completed to join the line north of Round Butte and work continues to improve it. Crews are using hose lays, mop up, and patrol to contain and improve the line. Ops Section Chief Brad Washa reported that there remains approximately 160 miles of uncontained line in a fire that has over 300 miles of perimeter. 

When fuels, weather, and topography align, there is high potential for aggressive fire spread. Previous spot fires are contained and inactive, but concerns remain for potential out-flow winds associated with thunderstorms and impacts to open fire line. Most spotting has been on the northeast edge toward Winter Rim, but any active section of the fire can throw embers and lightning can create new starts. Fuels remain receptive to burning—ignition likelihood is approximately 80-90%—and any undetected spot fires have the potential for rapid rates of spread. Deputy Incident Commander Tom Kurth reminded crews that it could be a “rowdy fire day with the potential for new starts, line breaks, and new fire behavior.” He encouraged them to stay safe and maintain situational awareness. 

Aerial resources are critical in holding existing fire line and supporting ground crews. Current water drops are focused on the active northwest corner and along the “dirty edge” of the eastern flank of the fire, where they can help cool the area and allow firefighters on the ground to make progress. Air operations slow down the spread of fire and buy time for crews to get on the ground. Brian Deck, Air Ops Branch, said initial air attack “is like preventative medical care; it is easier to prevent fires from spreading than treat large fires.” Sam Martin, who conducts air operations for the USDA Forest Service agreed, “we don’t put fires out without boots on the ground.” 

Yesterday, scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms moved through the region. Scattered thunderstorms are possible through today. A Red Flag Warning is in effect for this afternoon and evening for lightning over dry fuels. Winds are expected to pick up with strong gusts and erratic winds associated with the storms, this weather is expected to continue through the weekend. More information is available at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/7609/62198/ 

Evacuations:   Evacuations are dynamic. Klamath County has dropped all evacuation notices; however, the Fremont-Winema National Forest remains closed. Evacuation levels were lowered in Lake County. The best way to view the evacuation designation boundaries and details is on the interactive map available at tinyurl.com/bootlegevac 

Red Cross Evacuation Shelters: For information or assistance: 1-800-Red-Cross (www.redcrossblog.org/disaster)   

Insurance Assistance: For additional information on submitting insurance claims after losing your home or property to a wildfire, please visit https://dfr.oregon.gov/insure/home/storm/Pages/wildfires.aspx or call the state’s team of consumer advocates at 888-877-4894 (toll-free).   

Closures:  The Fremont-Winema National Forest is closed to the public in the fire area. The full closure order and map are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/fremont-winema/alerts-notices    

Smoke:  Smoke from the Dixie Fire in Northern California could once again affect the southern part of the region today. The Bootleg and other nearby fires, including the Jack Fire just to the northwest of the region, continue to impact air quality on our region. Today, we will see another good to moderate day of air quality. Periods of moderate air quality will be brief. See: fires.airfire.org/outlooks/southcentraloregon    

Fire Information Public Phone: 541-482-1331 

Inciweb: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7609/   Facebook: www.facebook.com/BootlegFireInfo   

Twitter: twitter.com/BootlegFireInfo   Hashtags: #BootlegFire #FireYear2021  

News / Oregon-Northwest

KTVZ news sources

Comments

Leave a Reply

Skip to content