SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory - High Wind Warning View Alerts

'I just couldn’t believe it': Bootleg Fire leaves lasting impacts on Sycan Estates area

More than 100 homes have been confirmed destroyed according to the Klamath County Sheriff's Office, including several homes in the Sycan Estates.

Posted: Jul 23, 2021 5:30 PM
Updated: Jul 23, 2021 6:14 PM

SYCAN ESTATES, Ore. -- The Bootleg Fire has devastated almost everything in its path.

"It's all gone," said Rick Meyer, a resident of the Sycan Estates who lost his home to the Bootleg Fire.

In the last two weeks, the flames have killed thousands of trees, hundreds of animals, and destroyed dozens upon dozens of homes across more than 400,000 acres.

The Klamath County Sheriff's Office confirmed on Friday, July 23, that the fire has destroyed 112 homes and 169 outbuildings.

"Nothing that I can think of here that was in the cabin or the storage shed was salvageable," Meyer said.

Both Meyer and his wife were both away from their home in the Sycan Estates, when the Bootleg Fire took off more than two weeks ago. At first, Meyer thought that he should return home to protect his property of more than 10 years, but then had a change of heart.

"I was going to come over here and for some reason, something told me in the middle of the night that I shouldn't do it," said Meyer. "I think it was God talking to me saying 'nothing you can do Rick."'

It wasn't until a few days later that Meyer got a call from some of his friends, who stayed in the Sycan Estates to protect their homes, that he learned his home didn't make it.

"I just didn't have words for it," he said. "I mean I just couldn't believe it."

Meyer was in complete shock when he was finally able to return home, to discover that his childhood dream is now ash and debris.

"I had a childhood dream of building a cabin in the forest and when I retired, I started building," Meyer said. "It was gut wrenching just gut wrenching. I mean, just, I don't have words for it."

Rick Meyer wasn't the only Sycan Estates resident to lose their home in the last two weeks. Russell King and Fawn Smullin had moved up to the area in the last year. The couple putting hours upon hours of blood, sweat and tears into their new home. Now, all of their hard work, in the form of rubble.

"I was so upset," said King about return backing to the area to discover that their home was destroyed. "It was a roller coaster of emotions."

"It was soul wrenching," said Smullin. "To have an entire year of hard work burned down in hours. There are no words."

Several homes in the community were able to make it through the ordeal, thanks to community members stepping up to protect their neighbors home.

One of those homes to survive belong to Jeff Ford. Ford along with other neighbors and friends battled the Bootleg Fire for hours when it passed through, making sure that not only his home survived, but other as well.

However, even with his home and his loved one safe from the Bootleg Fire, the devastation in the surrounding areas has made a lasting impact.

"The forest will probably never be the same," Ford said. "It's going to take a lifetime or two for it to come back to what it was. That's just the way it is."

While other members of the community, who's homes are still standing, are just thankful that no one in their community who stayed behind, perished in the flames.

"People get killed in fires and no one has died in this fire," said Sycan Estates Resident Alice Ray. "No firefighters. No homeowners. It was a miracle."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 354681

Reported Deaths: 4235
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55528700
Washington38530317
Marion36621448
Clackamas29551307
Lane27511300
Jackson22911308
Deschutes20066125
Umatilla14401146
Linn12732127
Douglas12019243
Josephine9334196
Yamhill8645111
Klamath7898116
Polk729981
Malheur559576
Benton543531
Coos498094
Columbia378143
Jefferson370752
Union317348
Lincoln317238
Wasco286540
Crook283546
Clatsop243229
Baker201528
Tillamook195929
Hood River191637
Morrow184023
Curry179825
Harney112126
Grant99513
Lake91812
Wallowa68312
Gilliam1534
Sherman1503
Wheeler1121
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4835022

Reported Deaths: 71032
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148065626473
Riverside3708005020
San Diego3656704178
San Bernardino3577115627
Orange3237885538
Sacramento1589272303
Kern1455891632
Fresno1455032073
Santa Clara1452251898
Alameda1204021391
San Joaquin1024051721
Ventura1008821166
Contra Costa997401004
Stanislaus858701326
Tulare79709958
San Francisco54299645
San Mateo54046622
Monterey50815583
Solano45958341
Santa Barbara45074522
Merced42144580
Sonoma40895402
Placer39222424
Imperial35906764
Kings32708322
San Luis Obispo29863332
Madera23761285
Butte23726268
Shasta23637349
Santa Cruz20962218
Yolo20275248
Marin17674244
El Dorado17123149
Sutter13873174
Napa12871100
Yuba1003382
Tehama9448108
Humboldt9195108
Nevada912990
Mendocino760087
Lassen754347
San Benito742772
Tuolumne685589
Lake6593104
Amador542964
Siskiyou447046
Glenn435233
Calaveras387280
Del Norte357642
Colusa303318
Inyo208040
Mono16673
Plumas16198
Mariposa132815
Trinity87211
Modoc6795
Unassigned2260
Sierra1840
Alpine1030
Out of CA00
Medford
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 46°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 56°
Crater Lake
Mostly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 46°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 46°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 41°
More wind and rain
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events