Oregon's Bootleg Fire Grows by a Third Overnight, Burns More Than 200K Acres

The Bootleg Wildfire in Oregon grew by over a third in size overnight, burning over 200,000 acres and damaging numerous structures in its path.

According to data posted on the InciWeb national wildfire information system, the Bootleg Fire has burned 201,923 acres. The Bootleg Fire is currently 0 percent contained.

Captain Richard M. Saalsaa, a public information officer for the Bootleg Fire, previously told Newsweek that as of Monday, the Bootleg Fire had destroyed at least seven residential structures as well as 43 outbuildings.

On Monday, fire officials reported the Bootleg Fire had burned approximately 153,000 acres, but the fire grew approximately 33 percent overnight. The fire was first reported on July 6 and its cause is currently unknown.

In an update posted on InciWeb, fire officials said the fire will be managed in two separate zones, allowing "the incident management teams to better manage the fire and limit travel for firefighters."

"After three days of explosive growth, a smoke inversion moderated fire activity and allowed fire crews to construct and improve fire control lines yesterday," fire officials said in the Monday update. "Protecting homes has been a team effort between structure firefighters and wildland fire crews to save homes. Quick actions from crews on the ground prevented numerous homes from catching fire during nighttime ember showers."

Numerous areas in Oregon's Klamath County have been ordered to evacuate immediately, while other areas have been placed under "GET SET" and "BE READY" evacuation notices.

The National Weather Service in Medford, Oregon, warned that smoke from the Bootleg Fire is expected to make its way across Klamath County.

"Thickest smoke to impact areas near Klamath Falls. Travelers on Highways 140 and 97 be aware of reduced visibility," the Medford National Weather Service said in a tweet.

In a separate tweet, the Medford National Weather Service said "Locations around this fire will likely see unhealthy levels of smoke."

Here is a look at how smoke from the #JackFire and #BootlegFire will impact the region Tuesday evening. Follow our friends @OregonDEQ for the latest air quality information! #wildfire pic.twitter.com/5ktOjJeHYd

— NWS Medford (@NWSMedford) July 12, 2021

The Bootleg Fire in Oregon has also damaged power transmission lines that are also used by California, prompting the California Independent System Operator (ISO) to issue a Flex Alert.

"With electric transmission lines from Oregon still unreliable due to the explosive Bootleg Fire and continued high temperatures across the West resulting in increased demand for electricity, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) issued a statewide Flex Alert for Monday, July 12, to help stabilize the state's electric grid and deal with uncertainty created by the extraordinary conditions," California ISO said in a statement on Monday. "Consumers are strongly encouraged to continue to conserve as much electricity as possible between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. Monday. Conservation is key to reducing stress on the grid during these peak hours."

California ISO said in a tweet on Tuesday the Flex Alert had concluded and thanked Californians for their energy conservation efforts.

Oregon Wildfire
The Bootleg Wildfire in Oregon has grown to over 200,000 acres and remains 0 percent contained. A wildfire evacuation sign posted along a street in Ashland, Oregon. Robert Alexander/Getty