Bootleg Fire now 42% contained; still largest fire in country

By Sage Van Wing (OPB)
July 24, 2021 7:26 p.m.
A smoke column shown over a pasture illustrates the vastness of the Bootleg Fire in Oregon.

A smoke column shows the air conditions during Oregon's Bootleg Fire on July 18.

U.S. Forest Service via Inciweb

The Bootleg Fire burning in South Central Oregon is now 42% contained and burning over 400,000 acres.


Fire authorities say that progress is being made against the Bootleg Fire, though it still remains the largest blaze in the country, additional mandatory evacuations were ordered Friday evening and less than half of it has been contained.


Smoke from the fire has kept temperatures down in the area, reducing fire activity somewhat. But the smoke has also impeded air operations.

Firefighters are currently holding the line near the communities of Summer Lake and Paisley.

Nine people working on the Bootleg Fire tested positive for the coronavirus last week.

The Jack Fire, burning in the Umpqua National Forest, east of Roseburg has scorched just under 20,000 acres with 57% containment.

The Elbow Creek Fire in Wallowa County is burning over 20,000 acres, with 25% containment.

Hotter and drier weather is expected across the state over the weekend and into next week.


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“Last year’s historic fire season taught us that being prepared can truly be the difference between life and death. Being prepared is also one of the best ways you can help our frontline firefighters do their jobs,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Tuesday. “If you take anything away from today, let it be this: make a plan with your family...and when you’re asked to evacuate. Please, just do it. Listen to the experts.”