Oregon Wildfires Map, Update As Bootleg Burns Area Bigger Than Houston

The Bootleg Fire, the largest wildfire currently active in the U.S., is advancing towards mountain towns in Oregon as the blaze closes in on burning 400,00 acres in the state.

The fire, which has been burning in Oregon since July 6, has so far destroyed 388,360 acres in the state while only being 32 percent contained, according to the federal InciWeb wildfire tracking site.

The blaze is spreading quickly as it only reached the 300,000-acre mark on Monday morning, with the fire looking likely to pass 400,000 acres destroyed on Wednesday.

Although at least 70 homes have been destroyed and more than 2,000 residents have so far had to evacuate their residences in the state, the fire has not been reported to have claimed any lives or caused any injuries.

Evacuation centers have been created in several cities in Oregon affected by the fire, including Redmond and Klamath Falls, while InciWeb's data shows that at least 2,250 fire personnel are currently tackling the blaze.

Bootleg Fire on Google Maps
A map showing the size of the Bootleg Fire in Oregon provided by Google Maps. The fire is expected to pass 400,000 acres burned on Wednesday. Google Maps

The fire has so far burned more than 606 square miles, which is just around 3 square miles smaller than the city of London in England and bigger than both Houston in Texas and Delhi in India.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday evening that the fire, the fourth biggest in Oregon's history, is closing in on the rural communities of Paisley, Summer Lake and Silver Lake, as Incident Commander Joe Hessel told the newspaper that some residents in those areas are refusing to evacuate.

Hessel explained that many of the residents in those rural towns have lived in the communities for their entire lives so do not want to leave, but said the state has not yet faced "million-acre fires," which Bootleg has the potential to become.

There are currently 83 large wildfires currently burning in the U.S., after a heatwave and drought caused blazes to start across the West Coast in early July, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

More than 19,300 wildland firefighters and support officials are currently tackling the 83 large wildfires burning across at least 13 states in the U.S.

The number of firefighters and support officials is down from the 19,600 that were fighting the blazes on Tuesday, while the number of wildfires has increased from 80 just the day before.

Although the Bootleg Fire alongside seven further blazes are causing devastation in Oregon, a majority of the fires that have burned in the last two weeks have been located in Idaho and Montana, with the former currently battling 18 blazes and the latter still tackling 20 wildfires.

Oregon wildfires map
A map showing the wildfires currently burning in Oregon provided by the National Interagency Fire Center. National Interagency Fire Center

Across the U.S., more acres have burned this year compared to this point in 2019 and 2020. The country recorded 35,319 fires with 2,585,492 acres affected from January 1 to July 20, 2021, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

That compares to 29,207 fires and 1,761,531 acres for this period in 2020, and 23,669 fires and 2,385,283 acres in 2019.

Earlier in the week, Fire spokesperson Katy O'Hara warned CNN that the officials are far off from containing the fire, explaining that "the scope and scale of the Bootleg Fire will require a season-ending weather event such as a significant storm that is either widespread wetting rain or snow, which in southern Oregon typically occurs in the late fall."

A public information officer for Northwest Incident Management Team 10 told Newsweek last week that the estimated containment date for the Bootleg Fire has been set for November.

The date has been set for later in the year because officials are expecting "a great deal of mop-up, repair and recovery to complete" once the fire has been fully contained, with the initial containment still far off.

Bootleg Fire continues to burn
A tree stump burns at the Bootleg Fire north of Bly, Oregon on July 17, 2021. The Bootleg Fire, the largest wildfire currently burning in the U.S., is advancing towards mountain towns in Oregon as the blaze closes in on burning 400 acres in the state. AFP via Getty Images/Payton Bruni