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409,000-acre Bootleg Fire in S. Oregon now 53% contained

Night operations July 22 on the Bootleg Fire
InciWeb
Night operations July 22 on the Bootleg Fire

BLY, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The battle is far from over, but firefighters have brought the more than 409,000-acre Bootleg Fire in Southern Oregon to more than 50% containment, officials said Monday.

Here's the full Monday morning update on the blaze:

Bootleg Update July 26, 2021   

Location: 28 miles northeast of Klamath Falls, OR     Size: 409,611 acres 

Personnel: 2,257                                 Containment: 53% 

(Klamath Falls, OR) – As firefighters successfully patrol and hold the containment line around the southern area of the Bootleg Fire, activity continues on the northern edges. Along the northwest perimeter of the fire, crews have been building indirect line utilizing forest roads from Coyote Creek, north to Round Butte. A burnout operation was conducted overnight to remove fuels ahead of the fire to stop its spread into timber stands.  

“The challenge today,” said Pacific Northwest Team 2 Operations Chief Kyle Cannon, “is to secure the northernmost section of the fire north of Round Butte to the west side of 27 Road.” 

On the northeast side, last night’s efforts focused again on the active fire along the Sycan River. Crews there are working to keep the fire off Winter Rim and from moving toward Summer Lake. Contingency line construction and structure protection continue around Summer Lake and Paisley. Incident managers are optimistic about the effectiveness of these efforts, but threats remain and evacuation levels have not yet changed. They encourage people to remain vigilant and updated on conditions. 

Along the southern border, crews continue to progress deeper into the burned area extinguishing hot spots. This will further secure the fire’s edge. Firefighters have made excellent progress, with 98 miles of completed fire line in this zone. As they continue to patrol, any areas of remaining heat that could pose a future threat to the containment line will be extinguished.  

Over the course of the fire, more than 90 fire departments from across the country have responded to the fire to serve the impacted communities. Today, an additional 120 Oregon National Guardsmen are arriving—six crews of 20—to join the firefighting force.  

Weather and smoke conditions are improving over the next few days. Last night’s light, favorable winds from the north facilitated night operations. Although rainfall is rare this time of year, today thunderstorms are expected to roll in and produce rain tonight and tomorrow. While there is a danger of lightning, the rainfall, higher humidity, and cooler temperatures overall will assist firefighting efforts. Air quality has also eased across the state with most monitoring stations recording good to moderate air quality. 

Did you miss the community meeting yesterday? You can check out the recording on the Bootleg Fire Facebook page or Twitter account for recent updates. 

Evacuations:   Evacuations are dynamic. An interactive map of evacuation levels in Lake and Klamath Counties is available at  tinyurl.com/bootlegevac 

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

Closures:  The Fremont-Winema National Forest is closed to the public in the fire area. Map and full order available at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7609/.    

Smoke:  Weakening high pressure means that there will be less smoke on the ground today than in the past couple days. There could be times where air quality could reach the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (USG) level, but not for any extended period of time and will likely be more sporadic. Today's forecast calls for mostly moderate air quality around the region, with conditions slowly improving overnight as the atmosphere becomes a bit more unstable, meaning air and smoke will be able to rise more easily compared to the past several days. 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  

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