KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Klamath County residents forced to evacuate due to the Bootleg Fire will be cleared to return home this afternoon, Klamath County Emergency Management said Tuesday.
Evacuation levels will be lifted in Klamath County at 3 p.m., the agency said, crediting the development to the hard work of hundreds working on the Bootleg Fire.
The Bootleg Fire has burned more than 410,000 acres between Klamath and Lake counties. Fire officials said earlier on Tuesday that at least 161 homes, 247 outbuildings, and 342 vehicles have been destroyed by the fire.
“This is one of the largest incidents we have faced in Klamath County," said Sheriff Chris Kaber in a statement. "I continue to be amazed at the outpouring of support that our community expresses to the victims of this fire, as well as to the responders working hard to bring this fire under control with minimal loss.”
KCEM said that hazards have been reduced to a point where it is safe to reduced evacuation levels, but there are still hazards within the burn area of which residents need to be aware. This includes fire-damaged trees, damaged roads, and high traffic from crews working on those hazards.
"We continue to ask that people keep traffic to a minimum in the fire area to allow crews to make repairs as quickly as possible," the agency said.
Evacuation levels remained in place for western Lake County on Tuesday. The interactive evacuation map can be accessed here.