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Firefighter who went missing on the Bootleg Fire found by search teams

Fire officials reported that a firefighter working in Lake County became separated from his crew while working to contain spot fires in the area.

Posted: Jul 19, 2021 9:33 AM
Updated: Jul 19, 2021 6:09 PM

LAKEVIEW, Ore. — Firefighters and law enforcement officers started a search mission on Sunday after learning that a firefighter had gone missing while working near the Bootleg Fire.

According to the incident management team, a fire crew was working to contain spot fires in the Happy Camp area of the Fremont National Forest when one of the firefighters got separated from the rest of the crew. A report about the missing man went out at 6:30 p.m.

The Zone 1 Incident Management Team quickly started search efforts, bringing in aircraft and other resources to help. The crew of a helicopter spotted the firefighter around 8:20 p.m., but could not find a place to land.

Another fire crew joined the search, in addition to personnel from the Lake County Sheriff's Office. Fire officials said that a Rapid Extraction Module, "a highly skilled and specially equipped team used to provide emergency medical services and extraction to firefighters on the line," also deployed to help in getting the firefighter out.

Officials said that the firefighter was in good spirits when they reached him, and he was able to hike to the road where an ambulance was waiting. Medical staff took him to Lakeview Hospital for evaluation.

Sunday marked another day of extreme fire behavior on the Bootleg Fire, forcing fire crews to fall back to safety zones as it surged forward on the north and southeast flanks. By Monday morning, the fire was estimated at 303,791 acres with containment at 25 percent.

“We are running firefighting operations through the day and all through the night,” said Joe Hessel, Incident Commander. “This fire is a real challenge, and we are looking at sustained battle for the foreseeable future.”

Flames crossed the 28 Road, burning more than 2,500 acres in the Elder Creek area east of Gearhart Mountain. Fire crews worked through the night to keep the fire's foothold from growing.

On the north end of the fire, firefighters were driven back as the flames pushed past retardant lines and burned "three to four miles north" near Long Creek. Staff at the Nature Conservancy station in Sycan Marsh were evacuated as firefighters moved to protect the structures there.

One of the few bright spots Sunday was on the Log Fire, burning just to the northeast of the main Bootleg Fire. Officials said that heavy smoke cover shaded the area, keeping down fire intensity and allowing crews to limit its growth toward Summer Lake with dozer lines.

Fire officials warned that thunderstorms could emerge in the area on Monday, adding the risk of lightning to the already windy, dry, and hot conditions. The Bootleg Fire is expected to grow to the north, east, and southeast, with firefighters building contingency fire line in the event that the first lines fail.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5060666

Reported Deaths: 74152
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152491227121
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581504
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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