Extreme weather is driving a fire in Oregon, seeking outside help

Portland, Oregon (AP) — Fire-ravaged Oregon officials say the Pacific Northwest, as thunderstorms and the threat of lightning have already spent so much resources on large-scale fires in Oregon. I asked for help from outside Oregon to prepare for additional flames. It has grown to one-third the size of Rhode Island.

The 537-square-mile (1,391-square-kilometer) Bootleg Fire burns 300 miles (483 km) southeast of Portland in and around the vast primeval forests, lakes, and wildlife sanctuary of the Fremont Winma National Forest. .. Evacuation and property loss are minimized compared to much smaller flames in densely populated areas of California.

However, noting that extreme weather-backed Bootleg Fire continues to grow miles each day, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest officials in southwestern Oregon are more prepared for a surge in fire activity there. We are seeking the preparation of many outside crew members.

“The expected lightning activity earlier this week is expected to occur east of us, but we are prepared for the worst and want the best,” said firefighter Mike McCann. Said in a statement released by the national forest on Monday. ..

What is worrisome is that resources such as fire trucks are being gathered from places such as Arkansas, Nevada, and Alaska as the region’s dryness, drought, and recent record heat waves create the tinderbox condition. ..

On the other hand, in the east, in contrast to its relatively small impact on people, the extraordinary size of Bootleg Fire emphasizes the vastness of the western United States, and Oregon, which is larger than the United Kingdom, is primarily the largest city. Is known for Portland.

“Thousands of homes would have been destroyed so far,” said a researcher at the Oregon State University Forest Department, who studies historic wildfires, in the event of a fire in a densely populated area of ​​California. James Johnston said. “But it’s burning in one of the more remote areas of the 48 states of the continental United States. It’s not the Bay Area there.”

At one point in the fire, at least 2,000 homes were evacuated and another 5,000 were threatened. At least 70 homes and more than 100 annexes were on fire. Heavy smoke chokes areas where inhabitants and wildlife have already coped with months of drought and extreme heat as well. No one is dead.

Pushed by strong winds from the southwest, the fire spreads rapidly to the north and east, heading towards increasingly distant areas.

Evacuation orders at the southern end of the fire, near populated areas such as Klamath Falls and Bree, were lifted or eased as the crew gained control. There are now small, unincorporated communities like Paisley and Long Creek (both less than 250 people) and houses scattered across the crosshairs.

But it’s as big as the Bootleg Fire, so it’s not the biggest Oregon has ever seen. So far, the size of the fire is fourth on the list of modern state’s largest flames, including rangeland fires, and second on the list of infernos burning in the forest.

These megafires usually burn, even in late autumn or early winter, until the rain finally extinguishes them.

The largest wildfire in modern history was the Biscuit Fire, which burned approximately 780 square miles (2,000 square kilometers) in 2002 in the Rog River-Siskiyu National Forest in southern Oregon and northern California.

Bootleg Fire currently contains about 25%.

On Monday, firefighters had to withdraw for nine consecutive days due to irregular and dangerous fire behavior, forcing the flames to evacuate the Wildlife Research Station. Sican Marsh breeds thousands of migratory and nesting birds and is an important research base for wetland restoration in the upper reaches of the Kramas River.

Bootleg Fire is one of many burning fires in 12 states, most of which occurred in the western United States. On Monday, 16 major uncontained fires broke out in Oregon and Washington alone.

Extremely dry conditions and heat waves associated with climate change make it difficult to fight wildfires. Climate change will continue to make the west much warmer and drier, more extreme weather, and more frequent and destructive wildfires over the last three decades.

And in Northern California, authorities expanded the evacuation of the Tamarack fire in Alpine County in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, including the mountain town of Mesavista. The fire, which exploded over the weekend and forced the cancellation of extreme cyclists, was 36 square miles (93 square kilometers) without containment.

According to the National Weather Service, a thunderstorm is expected on Monday night, so winds can blow, causing flames and thunder, and new ones.

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