Fire line constructed around entire Bootleg Fire perimeter

Wildfires

Crews are hoping to widen the containment line before warmer weather moves in Tuesday

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The largest wildfire in the U.S., which is burning in Southern Oregon, was 74% contained Sunday, according to the Incident Management Team assigned to the fire. 

The Bootleg Fire, located 28 miles northeast of Klamath Falls, is estimated to be 413,752 acres or 647 square miles. 

On Sunday, fire officials said cloud cover and light rain over the last couple days helped moderate fire behavior, allowing crews on the ground and in the air to make progress on the fire line. 

The entire perimeter is now closed and crews are working to expand the width of the line. Since there haven’t been more spot fires or breaches of the fire line, the Incident Management Team has been able to allocate necessary resources to focus on active areas of the fire and strengthen the fire line. 

Crews were concerned isolated thunderstorms Sunday could bring wind gusts to the area. They said that by Tuesday or Wednesday, warmer weather, low humidity, and winds will likely create conditions that could allow the fire to spread rapidly and will test the fire containment line. 

“We’re not nervous about this weather,” said Karen Scholl, operations section chief. “We want this test to happen to see how our line holds, while we have crews and contingencies in place. We believe we’re in a good position to be tested.” 

Level 3 evacuations are still in place for all areas around the Bootleg Fire perimeter. The Level 3 evacuation order also extends to areas immediately adjacent to the fire line in all directions and includes Yamsay Mountain, Thompson Reservoir, and the Sycan Marsh to the top of Winter Rim. No evacuations are in place in Klamath County. Evacuation levels are updated here. 

All Red Cross shelters have closed. The Fremont-Winema National Forest is now open south of Oregon State Route 140. Closures remain in effect north of the highway to provide for public safety and the safety of firefighters.

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