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CHILOQUIN, Ore. — Evacuation notices remain in place as fire crews attempt to contain the Bootleg Fire, burning within the Fremont-Winema National Forest about 11 miles northeast of Sprague River.
As of Wednesday morning, fire officials continued to estimate the fire's size at 3,000 acres with no containment.
The fire was first reported around 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, quickly spreading amid the profoundly dry vegetation within federal forestlands on the slopes of Fuego Mountain. Officials say that the fire has been running, torching, and spotting within the steep rugged terrain packed with mixed conifer and lodgepole pine.
The South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) said that crews were only able to work on indirect firefighting tactics overnight — strengthening roads and attempting to create an anchor point — due to "extreme" fire behavior through the night. Other firefighters went to assess and begin protection measures for two private properties located northeast of the fire.
Those two properties were placed under a Level 2 "Get Set" evacuation warning on Tuesday night, as both could conceivably be within the fire's path. The Sycan Estates area north of Beatty remains under a Level 1 "Get Ready" evacuation notice.
Fire officials expect that the ongoing hot, dry weather and anticipated winds will drive more activity on the Bootleg Fire throughout Wednesday. The pillar of smoke from the fire is highly visible from Highway 140, Sprague River Highway, in the town of Chiloquin and surrounding areas.
More firefighting resources have been arriving in the area, with a Type 2 Incident Management Team scheduled to arrive by afternoon.
Drivers in the area should expect to see increased firefighter traffic, and fire officials asked that people use caution or avoid the area as much as possible.