PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The nation’s largest wildfire has torched more dry forests in Oregon and forced the evacuation of a wildlife research station.
Firefighters had to retreat from the flames Monday for the ninth consecutive day due to erratic and dangerous fire behavior.
Authorities say crews were forced to pull back as the flames jumped fire-retardant containment lines and pushed up to four miles into new territory.
The destructive Bootleg Fire in south-central Oregon is just north of the California border. Fueled by winds and by bone-dry conditions, it has grown to more than 476 square miles (1,210 square kilometers), an area about the size of Los Angeles.
In California, crews are trying to tame a growing wildfire south of Lake Tahoe.
The Tamarack Fire has charred nearly 29 square miles of dry brush and timber.
Bootleg Fire officials said a fire slop over across 28 Road is estimated to be over 2,500 acres in the Elder Creek area.
Firefighters worked through the night to limit growth.
On the north edge, firefighters disengaged when the fire aggressively moved past retardant lines three to four miles north toward Long Creek.
The Nature Conservancy station at Sycan Marsh was evacuated and firefighters provided structure protection.
Fire activity on the Log Fire was moderated by heavy smoke cover (shading from smoke cover results in lower fire intensity) and firefighters were successful in limiting southeast growth toward Summer Lake with dozer lines.
“We are running firefighting operations through the day and all through the night,” said Joe Hessel, Incident Commander. “This fire is a real challenge, and we are looking at sustained battle for the foreseeable future.”
The weather Monday will add the possibility of thunderstorms to the dry, hot, and windy conditions, with fire growth expected to the north, east, and southeast.
Today, crews will work to contain the slop over the 28 Road and scout for contingency lines. Crews are also managing smaller areas of fire outside of the containment lines.
The southeast flank of the fire from Preacher Flats to Mitchell Monument remains in patrol status.
More firefighters have shifted to the north to support fire efforts near Silver Lake. Firefighters on the Log Fire continue line improvements to attempt to protect ranches and the Summer Lake community. Firefighters are preparing secondary firelines in all areas of fire growth.
The southwestern flank of the fire continues to hold. It is imperative property owners use caution when returning; there are lingering hot spots and fire-weakened trees.
Map and full order available at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7609/.
Smoke: Smoke impacts will be high in areas north, northeast, and east of the fire, especially in the vicinity of Silver Lake, Summer Lake, and Paisley.