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Bootleg Fire tops 388,000 acres, forcing fire crews to fall back for tenth straight day

Fire officials said that extreme fire behavior in the afternoon and evening forced crews to retreat back to safety zones as the fire raged forward.

Posted: Jul 20, 2021 10:09 AM
Updated: Jul 20, 2021 11:34 AM

BLY, Ore. — For the tenth day in a row, firefighters working on the massive Bootleg Fire straddling Klamath and Lake counties were forced to retreat before the onslaught of intense and unpredictable fire activity over the evening and afternoon.

Fire officials said that parts of the fire received trace amounts of rain from thunderstorms on Monday evening, but the rain did little to moderate the fire's spread. As of the Monday morning, the Bootleg Fire's size was estimated at 388,359 acres with containment at 30 percent.

On the northeastern flank of the fire, the main Bootleg Fire at last grew to merge with the smaller Log Fire. Heavy smoke cover over the area helped decrease fire activity so that crews could improve on their fire lines.

To the east, flames spotted over Forest Road 28 toward Summer Lake. Crews have been trying to fortify the 28 Road to halt the fire there, and similar efforts have been underway on the 34 Road to the southeast. Officials said that the fire has "slopped or spotted" over both roads in several areas.

"If they are not successful in the next 24 hours, they will fall back to structure protection in the Summer Lake community, with possible Hwy 31 closure and a burn out operation to remove fuels between the residential areas and the main fire," the Incident Management Team said in a statement.

Along the fire's northern edge, firefighters reported progress building dozer lines through the night and early morning hours, taking advantage of the cooler temperatures and calmer winds. By afternoon, the renewed winds and heat pushed the fire across Coyote Creek as fire crews set to protecting structures at the Sycan Marsh Nature Conservancy. Overnight, crews were able to build dozer line to Long Creek and establish an anchor point near the Conservancy.

"In the north toward Silver Lake, firefighters plan to close the gap of fireline between Long Creek and the anchor point at Nature Conservancy structures," officials said. "Firefighters are preparing secondary fireline and scouting for contingency firelines in all areas of fire growth."

The fire has been much calmer on the south and west sides of the fire, where firefighters continue to patrol more than 40 miles of fire line. Officials said that there are areas of heat in several spots, including in the Preacher Flats area. Crews patrolling the line look for places to mitigate any potential risks to the line.

With some evacuation orders lifted in these areas of the fire, fire officials continue to warn that hazardous hot spots and fire-damaged trees remain, necessitating caution. Unburned fuels in the fire's perimeter will likely continue to burn and smoke for weeks.

“Fighting this fire is a marathon, not a sprint,” said Rob Allen, Incident Commander for PNW Incident Management Team 2. “We’re in this for as long as it takes to safely confine this monster.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 218689

Reported Deaths: 2855
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah41723618
Washington27764258
Marion24459332
Clackamas19888241
Lane14804174
Jackson12522155
Deschutes1052887
Umatilla950594
Linn624882
Yamhill506281
Klamath494179
Douglas446188
Polk429357
Josephine413675
Malheur366467
Benton345322
Jefferson249342
Coos230439
Columbia208132
Union167124
Wasco154631
Lincoln153522
Crook139224
Hood River125934
Morrow122317
Clatsop116310
Baker109317
Curry77912
Tillamook7495
Grant5627
Lake4878
Harney45811
Wallowa2286
Gilliam871
Sherman862
Wheeler421
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 3944933

Reported Deaths: 64386
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles129358324677
Riverside3079224659
San Bernardino3062735236
San Diego2950543798
Orange2817905143
Santa Clara1230832099
Sacramento1152001777
Kern1130711425
Fresno1044581746
Alameda958261282
Ventura835231043
San Joaquin769151460
Contra Costa75842832
Stanislaus657091091
Tulare50363854
Monterey44484528
San Mateo44477588
San Francisco40144561
Solano35703262
Santa Barbara35647467
Merced32961484
Sonoma32665330
Imperial29096745
Placer25146307
Kings23611250
San Luis Obispo21970265
Madera17024249
Santa Cruz16616207
Marin14825239
Yolo14801215
Butte13184205
Shasta12963242
El Dorado11063120
Napa1042082
Sutter10159126
Yuba698551
San Benito627463
Lassen588127
Tehama586466
Nevada535075
Humboldt504553
Mendocino468351
Tuolumne449573
Lake423865
Amador387048
Siskiyou256140
Glenn246427
Colusa235718
Calaveras230758
Del Norte16438
Inyo145338
Mono13255
Plumas7656
Modoc5737
Mariposa4987
Trinity4626
Sierra1290
Alpine890
Unassigned510
Medford
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Hi: 95° Lo: 64°
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Brookings
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Crater Lake
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Grants Pass
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Klamath Falls
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