Oregon's Bootleg Fire Now Over 227K Acres, Officials Say It's 'Going to Continue to Grow'

Oregon's Bootleg Fire grew to over 227,000 acres overnight and officials have warned that it will "continue to grow."

"This fire is going to continue to grow—the extremely dry vegetation and weather are not in our favor," Joe Hessel, Incident Commander for ODF Team 1 Incident Management Team, said in an update on Thursday.

"We are going to continue to prepare lines, protect structures, and move resources as we can around the fire's edge."

According to data posted to the InciWeb national fire information system, the Bootleg Fire has burned at least 227,234 acres and is 5 percent contained. The Bootleg Fire, which is burning approximately 28 miles northeast of Klamath Falls, was first reported by fire officials on July 6 and has an estimated containment date of November 30.

On Wednesday, fire officials reported that the Bootleg Fire burned around 212,000 acres, indicating significant growth overnight.

A public information officer for Northwest Incident Management Team 10, which is fighting the fire, previously explained to Newsweek that fire officials "will have a great deal of mop-up, repair and recovery to complete," which is why the estimated containment date was set for November.

Oregon Wildfire
Oregon's Bootleg Fire grew to over 227,000 acres overnight. Above, flames rip through the Siskiyou National Forest after Hot Shot fire crews lit a burnout fire August 4, 2002, in O'Brien, Oregon. Justin Sullivan/Getty

In an update on Thursday, fire officials said, "Firefighters reported another day of extreme fire behavior including torching, running, and frequent spotting ahead of the main fire including growth into the Gearhart Wilderness and north towards Lake Henry.

"With continued west winds predicted, firefighters will continue to work to hold the fire to the 34 Road to prevent further eastern and southern spread....Crews will continue to work on strengthening their existing line as well as scout for potential contingency lines. Structure protection groups are in place along the fire to help reduce risk to area homes."

According to data from the National Interagency Fire Center, the Bootleg Fire is the largest active wildfire in the U.S.

In a tweet on Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Satellite Twitter account posted a video of the Bootleg Fire's smoke from space.

"UPDATE: Oregon's #BootlegFire howed explosive growth last evening, with its #smoke and #pyrocumulus clouds seen here by @NOAA's #GOES17," the tweet said. "This is the largest active fire burning in the U.S., and has spread to more than 212,000 acres at last report."

UPDATE: Oregon's #BootlegFire showed explosive growth last evening, with its #smoke and #pyrocumulus clouds seen here by @NOAA's #GOES17🛰️. This is the largest active fire burning in the U.S., and has spread to more than 212,000 acres at last report. #ORwx pic.twitter.com/YyQtbN3O2o

— NOAA Satellites - Public Affairs (@NOAASatellitePA) July 15, 2021

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley also posted a tweet on Thursday: "A fire of this size and intensity at this point in the season is virtually unheard of."

"I can't express to my non-Oregon friends just how alarming and exceptional the Bootleg Fire is... It is a literal five-alarm wake-up call," Merkley wrote.

I can't express to my non-Oregon friends just how alarming and exceptional the Bootleg Fire is. A fire of this size and intensity at this point in the season is virtually unheard of. It is a literal five-alarm wake-up call. https://t.co/E2DSe8FEHF

— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) July 13, 2021