Oregon's Bootleg Fire Grows to Over 400K Acres, Now 3rd-Largest Wildfire in State History

The Bootleg Fire in Oregon has grown to over 400,000 acres, making it the third-largest wildfire in state history.

According to data posted on the InciWeb national wildfire incident center, the Bootleg Fire has burned 400,389 acres and is 40 percent contained.

Officials said that the Bootleg Fire, which is in Oregon's Fremont-Winema National Forest, northeast of Klamath Falls, was caused by lightning on June 6. Since the fire was first reported, it has continued to grow, as officials said it burned approximately 153,535 acres last Monday. Earlier this week, officials said the fire grew to 394,407 acres.

Following the increased growth over the past two weeks, the Bootleg Fire recently became the third-largest wildfire in Oregon history, surpassing the 2014 Buzzard Complex Fire, which burned 395,747 acres.

The only two wildfires that have been larger than the Bootleg Fire are the 2002 Biscuit Fire, which burned over 500,000 acres, and the 2012 Long Draw Fire, which burned over 550,000 acres.

In an InciWeb update earlier Friday morning, officials said the Bootleg Fire's "activity picked up in the eastern portion of the fire and spotted over Forest Service Road 2901."

"Last night crews and equipment worked using natural barriers and changes in fuel to contain the spot and protect the Summer Lake community. Crews will work today to hold those areas and scout for additional spots," the update said.

In the update, Joe Hessel, incident commander for the Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team, said, "Our firefighters have put in an incredible amount of hard work on this fire.

"The fire continues to throw challenges at us, and we are going to continue to stay vigilant, work hard, and adapt."

The Friday update also noted that firefighters will face a "heads up situation" as winds are expected to shift "from a westerly flow to winds from the north or northwest."

The fire has prompted numerous evacuations for surrounding communities. A full map of the evacuation orders issued can be found here.

Red Flag Warning has been issued for the #BootlegFire area between 2 P.M. and 8 P.M. tonight.https://t.co/LBSitObUAb pic.twitter.com/PFILvPWEiF

— Bootleg Fire Information (@BootlegFireInfo) July 23, 2021

The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning on Friday for areas near the Bootleg Fire.

"A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. These conditions promote rapid spread of fire which may become life threatening. Evacuate if ordered to, or if a fire threatens," the National Weather Service in Medford, Oregon said.

The Associated Press recently reported that the Bootleg Fire damaged at least 70 homes and more than 100 outbuildings.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, Oregon is also battling six other active wildfires, including the Lick Creek Fire, which has burned over 77,000 acres.

Oregon's Bootleg Fire
The Bootleg Fire in Oregon has grown to over 400,000 acres, becoming the third-largest wildfire in state history. Above, fire crews do mop-up in a section of the fire on July 21, 2021, in the Fremont National Forest. Mathieu Lewis-Rolland/Getty