In Oregon on Sunday (7-18-21), the largest wildfire in the U.S. set additional dry forestland areas ablaze. The Bootleg fire, located just north of the California border, is just one of dozens of major blazes that continue to burn across the West, with dangerous fire weather looming over the entire area in the upcoming days. The Bootleg fire grew over the weekend to more than 476 square miles (1,210 square kilometers), an area about the size of Los Angeles.
John Flannigan, an operational section chief on the 2,000-person force battling the fire noted that the “Weather is really against us. It’s going to be dry, and the air is going to be unstable.”
As the Bootleg fire grows, authorities expanded evacuations that now affect some 2,000 residents of a largely rural area of lakes and wildlife refuges. The blaze, which was 22% contained, has burned at least 67 homes and 100 outbuildings while threatening thousands more.
At the other end of the state, a fire in the mountains of northeast Oregon grew to more than 17 square miles (44 square kilometers) on Sunday. The Elbow Creek Fire that started Thursday has prompted evacuations in several small, remote communities around the Grande Ronde River about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Walla Walla, Washington. It was 10% contained. Natural features of the area act like a funnel for wind, feeding the flames and making them unpredictable, officials said.
In California, a growing wildfire south of Lake Tahoe jumped a highway, prompting more evacuation orders, the closure of the Pacific Crest Trail. and the cancellation of an extreme bike ride through the Sierra Nevada.
FEA compiles the Wood Markets News from various 3rd party sources to provide readers with the latest news impacting forest product markets. Opinions or views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of FEA.
Huge Oregon blaze grows as wildfires burn across western US