PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Various wildfires are blazing throughout the region as Oregon continues to grapple with uncharacteristically hot, dry and windy conditions.
Firefighters have been battling several blazes for over a week, including what has become the largest wildfire in the nation. The Bootleg Fire has grown exponentially over the last five days, with little success in containment efforts.
It is now the nation’s largest active fire.
The Bootleg Fire in Klamath County is the largest in the nation right now at roughly 201,923 acres. For reference, that’s larger than the size of New York City.
It started on July 6 from unknown causes.
The wildfire is actively burning on the Fremont-Winema National Forest. Officials say it will continue to be extremely active in unchecked portions of the perimeter, especially with unstable air conditions, extremely dry fuels and well above normal temperatures — along with extremely gusty winds.
Twenty-one homes have been destroyed and hundreds of others are under Level 3 (Go Now!) evacuation orders. A total of 54 other structures have been decimated, as well.
Portland Fire and Rescue tells us the fight against the Bootleg Fire is just beginning. It may be weeks before crews can get in to fully assess the damage, with fire managers estimating the fire won’t be contained until around November 30.
Right now, however, firefighters’ main focus is on saving homes.
LEVEL 3 EVACUATIONS
Level 3 (Go Now!) evacuation orders are in place for Klamath County, north of the town of Beatty, east side of Godowa Springs Road north of the OC and E Trail to the Klamath County Line, along with Klamath County near the town of Sprague River at the Upper Tableland area north of Oregon Pines Road.
LEVEL 2 EVACUATIONS
Level 2 (Get Set) evacuations in place for the Klamath Forrest Estates/Moccasin Hills Area, Klamath County on the west side of Godowa Springs Roadd, south of Oregon Pines Road and Tableland Road to the river.
LEVEL 1 EVACUATIONS
Level 1 (Get Ready) evacuation notice is in place for Klamath County, between Beatty and Bly three miles south of Highway 140 from Yellow Jacket Springs to Fishhole Creek, along with the area from the intersection of Sprague River Road and Forbes Road extending east to Godowa Springs and Yellow Jacket Springs and four miles south of the Sprague River.
The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office started to issue citations and will make arrests if necessary to keep people out of the Level 3 evacuation areas.
The newest fire to spark in Oregon is the Bruler Fire near Detroit.
The Bruler Fire began flaming on Monday, estimated to be up to 60 acres as of Tuesday morning. The National Weather Service said that GOES-West visible satellite imagery showed a “decent column of smoke rising from a location a few miles south of Detroit Lake.”
Crews will continue to aggressively attack the fire on Tuesday. Aircraft will be dropping water in an attempt to slow growth. Additional resources are expected to arrive in the coming days. Officials say smoke will continue to be visible from the town of Detroit and Santiam Pass, with light to moderate smoke expected to settle in lower elevation areas in the vicinity overnight.
“This fire does have the potential to spread and the forest is very dry,” Sweet Home District Ranger and Agency Administrator Nikki Swanson said. “The safety of the public and the firefighters is our first priority. We’re in the process of closing several roads and trails to ensure firefighters can work efficiently and that the public remains safe. This will be managed as a full suppression fire.”
No communities are currently threatened by the blaze. However, people are asked to avoid Daly lake, Tule lake, the Old Cascade Crest trails, Forest Roads 11 (Straight Creek Road/Quartzville Road), Forest Road 10 leading south from Detroit Lake, along with Forest Roads 1161, 1133 and 1012.
The Jack Fire in Douglas County has spread to 12,533 acres as of Tuesday morning. Officials say it is just 15% contained at this time.
The Jack Fire was first reported around 5 p.m. on July 5. Flames are burning north of State Highway 138 and east of Jack Creek Road. Crews say between the steep terrain, fuels and inaccessibility, the fire grew rapidly.
LEVEL 3 EVACUATIONS
All forest service campgrounds in the area are under Level 3 (Go Now!) evacuations. There are also Level 3 evacuations for residents in Dry Creek and all people on Illahee Road. This level tells residents danger is imminent and all should evacuate immediately.
LEVEL 2 EVACUATIONS
There is a Level 2 (Get Set) evacuation in place for those in the Boulder Springs/Soda Flat area, as well as the Steamboat region. This level of evacuation indicates there is significant danger and to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
State Highway 138-E from Steamboat Creek to milepost 55 is currently closed to traffic.
LEVEL 1 EVACUATIONS
Those in the Toketee area are under Level 1 (Get Ready) evacuations as the wildfire continues to burn. Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area and be sure to monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information.
The Grandview Fire first sparked around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, burning lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry and on the Crooked River National Grassland. It is currently burning around 5,723 acres and is 5% contained, officials say.
The governor declared this fire a conflagration, bringing additional resources to support the containment efforts. Task forces from Marion, Yamhill, Linn, Benton, Lane, Umatilla and Columbia counties, along with a Clackamas County hand crew are working to protect the 421 homes that are currently threatened by the fire.
Officials say winds from the north and east have pushed the fire southwest and into Stevens Canyon. Although there is active fire behavior, the ODF says firefighters have had significant success throughout much of the area.
Containment lines are in place near the most populated areas to the east and south. Crews will continue battling throughout the day, working to hold and strengthen those edges.
LEVEL 3 EVACUATION
This is a Level 3 (Go Now!) Evacuation Notice for all homes north of Holmes Road due to a wildfire. There is immediate and imminent danger and you should evacuate immediately. Leave immediately and as quickly as possible.
LEVEL 2 EVACUATION
This is a Level 2 (Get Set) Evacuation Notice for the McKenzie Canyon and Lower Bridge Way area due to a wildfire. There is significant danger to your area and you should consider leaving now or be able to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
The Darlene Fire erupted late Monday afternoon and quickly jumped to 500 acres. The fire is about 2 miles southeast of La Pine and moving to the southeast.
There is a Level 2 evacuation notice for the areas south of the Deschutes County line including the Sun Forest Estates, Split Rail subdivision and Antelope Meadows.
Lyle Hill Fire
A new wildfire is growing rapidly in Southwest Washington, estimated to be about 150 acres as of Tuesday morning.
The Lyle Hill Fire in Klickitat County began Monday night, prompting Level One (Get Ready) evacuations for the Centerville-High Prairie area from milepost 2 on Centerville Highway to Alder Springs. Officials say homes and orchards are threatened.
Over 100 personnel are involved in the firefighting efforts. The area reportedly lost all water pressure, so firefighters are forced to drive 12 miles out of town to fill water tenders and bring them back — a 24-mile round trip.
The fire cause is currently under investigation.