Bootleg Update July 27, 2021
Location: 28 miles northeast of Klamath Falls, OR Size: 410,731 acres
Personnel: 2,099 Containment: 53%
(Klamath Falls, OR) – This morning the Alaska Incident Management Team assumed leadership of the Bootleg Fire after several days of transition with the other teams. Incident Commander Norm McDonald thanked the Pacific Northwest Team 2, Oregon State Fire Marshal Red Team, and Oregon Department of Forestry Team 1 for leaving us in such a good position. “We will continue operations with a focus on the safety of the community and our firefighters,” said Commander McDonald. “We’re continuing with community and agency partners to suppress the fire as effectively as possible to protect timber, ranchlands, and other local values.”
As of yesterday, the southern boundary line continued to hold; this area remains in patrol status. Operations focus on eliminating remaining hot spots and burning out fuel pockets to widen the perimeter and secure the fire’s edges.
Rugged terrain on the northwest side of the fire makes suppression slow going. There is a concentration of snags, downed logs, and slash that provide heavy fuels to the fire. And while progress is being made, this area continues to be a challenge. Favorable weather today will create a good window for direct attack.
On the northeast side, crews extinguished a small spot fire of less than 3 acres that jumped the perimeter. With the changing weather conditions, spotting potential should decrease today, but crews will remain vigilant and respond quickly to threats as they arise.
Temperatures are expected to cool today with an increase in humidity and likelihood of isolated showers continuing through tomorrow. The mild weather will have a short-term calming effect on the fire behavior. But due to the extremely dry conditions and fuels, as the week progresses and temperatures rise, aggressive fire behavior is likely to quickly rebound.
Yesterday, a thorough damage assessment was finalized that tallied the number of buildings damaged and destroyed in Klamath and Lake counties. This fire has a very large footprint and it is important to fire managers that the impact to people’s homes and other structures be accurately examined and counted.
Surveying experts were able to safely access remote areas where the fire has caused significant damage and provide updated reporting to fire managers. In total, 161 residences were destroyed and 247 outbuildings. In addition, 342 vehicles were destroyed in the fire. These numbers may increase as firefighters and surveyors continue to work through the interior of the fire. For additional information on submitting insurance claims after a wildfire, please visit https://dfr.oregon.gov/insure/home/storm/Pages/wildfires.aspx or call the state’s team of consumer advocates at 888-877-4894 (toll-free).
Evacuations: Evacuations are dynamic. An interactive map of evacuation levels in Lake and Klamath Counties is available at tinyurl.com/bootlegevac
Red Cross Evacuation Shelters: For information or assistance: 1-800-Red-Cross (www.redcrossblog.org/disaster)
Closures: The Fremont-Winema National Forest is closed to the public in the fire area. The full closure order and map are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/fremont-winema/alerts-notices.
Smoke: Lower air pressure is expected today, meaning the atmosphere itself will be a little more unstable. The more unstable the atmosphere, the easier it is for air and smoke to rise. There shouldn't be as much smoke on the ground as there has been over the past several days. This is reflected in today's forecast, as a lot of sites should see generally good air quality today. Pockets of moderate air quality will be possible throughout the day. See: fires.airfire.org/outlooks/southcentraloregon.
Fire Information Public Phone: 541-482-1331 Fire Information Media Phone: 971-727-7255
Twitter: twitter.com/BootlegFireInfo Hashtags: #BootlegFire #FireYear2021