Bootleg Fire grows as fire behavior forces crews to retreat yet again


For 10 days in a row, extreme fire behavior in the afternoon and evening has resulted in firefighters moving to safety zones as they battle the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon.

Monday night, parts of the fire received a trace amount of rain from thunderstorms in the area.

The main Bootleg Fire merged with the Log Fire as anticipated.

The total acreage is now 388,359 and more than 2,250 firefighters are on the blaze.

It’s burning 28 miles northeast of Klamath Falls.

Fire activity in this area was moderated by smoke cover decreasing fire intensity, so firefighters took advantage of conditions to improve the northeastern firelines.

Toward the east, significant fire movement resulted in the fire spotting over Forest Road 28 (Trunk Road) toward Summer Lake.

On the north edge, firefighters made progress constructing dozer line during the night and early morning while temperatures were cooler and winds calmer.

By the afternoon, with increasing winds and temperature, the fire moved across Coyote Creek and refocused on protecting the Sycan Marsh Nature Conservancy structures.

Night operations were able to construct dozer line to Long Creek and establish an anchor point near Nature Conservancy structures. Firefighters continue to patrol 40+ miles of fireline on the southern and western flanks of the fire.

There continues to be areas of heat in several locations on the west and south of the fire including the Preacher Flats area.

As crews patrol, they look for places to mitigate risks to the controlled line of the fire.

Property owners are reminded to use caution when returning; hazardous hot spots and fire-weakened trees remain throughout the area.

Please use an abundance of caution around these areas. Additionally, unburned fuels within the fire perimeter will continue to burn and produce smoke for weeks.

“Fighting this fire is a marathon, not a sprint,” said Rob Allen, Incident Commander for PNW Incident Management Team 2.  “We’re in this for as long as it takes to safely confine this monster.”

Today, winds will be from the southwest with a Red Flag Warning from 2 to 8 p.m. for gusty winds and low relative humidity, resulting in continued movement of the fire toward the east.

Firefighters will work to mitigate risks for by aggressively felling hazard trees.

Crews will continue to work on areas where the fire has slopped or spotted over Forest Roads 28 and 34.

If they are not successful in the next 24 hours, they will fall back to structure protection in the Summer Lake community, with possible Hwy 31 closure and a burn out operation to remove fuels between the residential areas and the main fire. In the north toward Silver Lake, firefighters plan to close the gap of fireline between Long Creek and the anchor point at Nature Conservancy structures.

Firefighters are preparing secondary fireline and scouting for contingency firelines in all areas of fire growth.

Structural protection firefighting crews continue to progress and work to mitigate risks to structures.

As crews move around the evolving fire, resources are shifted to more active areas of the fire. Community Meeting: July 20, 2021 at 6:30pm Facebook Live @BootlegFireInfo.

The meeting will be live streamed and a recording posted to


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