The more than 227,000-acre Bootleg Fire, the largest forest fire currently burning in the United States, has now burned an area larger than New York City and crippled firefighters with erratic winds and behavior of extremely dangerous fire. Some of the evacuations were triggered by a second, smaller blaze called the log fire northeast of the main blaze which has spread to nearly 5,000 acres in the past 24 hours.
The main fire destroyed 21 homes in an area north of the Oregon-California border that was hit by extreme drought. It was 7% content on Thursday, when authorities decided to extend previous evacuation orders near Summer Lake and Paisley. Both towns are located in Lake County, a remote area of lakes and wildlife sanctuaries with a total population of approximately 8,000.
“We’re trying to figure out where it’s moving, how far and how fast, to figure out what to do with the evacuation levels,” said Gert Zoutendijk, spokesperson for the Oregon office of the Fire Marshal. State. “The big word is everyone in Lake County is in the know and start signing up for the alert system, if they haven’t already. “
The Bootleg Fire on Wednesday generated huge columns of smoke that could be seen for miles – a sign that the fire is so intense it is creating its own weather, with erratic winds and the potential for lightning generated by fire.
For more information: https://apnews.com/article/science-fires-environment-and-nature-california-wildfires-8daca7e1ddec1d38bc208faee64941f6
ODFW press release:
Closure of the Summer Lake wildlife reserve due to nearby forest fires; two Wenaha campgrounds closed in the northeast
SALEM, Ore. – Due to fire evacuation measures in parts of eastern Oregon, ODFW has closed the Summer Lake Wildlife Area (SLWA) and two campgrounds in the Wildlife Area by Wenaha.
SLWA has been temporarily closed due to the Bootleg and Log fires. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has issued Level 1 and Level 2 evacuation advisories for parts of SLWA and the situation continues to change rapidly. As a precaution for the public, the safety of firefighters and future elevated evacuation notices, the ODFW has decided to temporarily close the entire wildlife reserve until further notice in accordance with OAR 635-008-0050 ( 1).
Two campgrounds in the Wenaha Wildlife Area are also closed due to wildfires in northeast Oregon and southeast Washington. The US Forest Service has issued a Level 2 evacuation order for the Lick fire in Southeast Washington. The evacuation notice extends to the OR / WA state limit just north of the wildlife preserve.
As a precaution for the public, firefighters’ safety and future elevated evacuation notices, the ODFW has decided to temporarily close the Griz Flats and Headquarters Campgrounds in accordance with OAR 635-008-0050 (1 ).
ODFW is working with our partners in the US Forest Service and the Oregon Department of Forestry to closely monitor fire and evacuation levels. If conditions worsen, ODFW will close additional portions of both wildlife areas.
InciWeb information on the Lick Creek fire: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7615
InciWeb information on Bootleg Fire: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7609/