Rain helps crews battling massive Bootleg Fire near Klamath Falls

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(Klamath Falls, OR) – The west side of the fire Bootleg Fire received steady, light rain that allowed a more direct attack on its edge Tuesday and overnight.

The rain significantly moderated fire behavior.

Currently, the fire is burning about 413,000 acres 28 miles northeast of Klamath Falls.

About 2,000 firefighters are on the blaze and it’s 53% contained.

Fine fuels are most affected by the moisture, although larger diameter fuels are still critically dry. Some isolated torching occurred yesterday in heavy fuels, but spotting was much reduced.

On the east side of the fire, crews continued to mop up after the spot fire from yesterday. With the added moisture they have no concerns about that area today.

The Oregon National Guard crews are working on the east flank of the fire area to secure the perimeter and put out any hot spots. Crews are completing lines on the fire perimeter near the Old Trunk road around the burned area of the 2018 Watson Creek Fire.

Along the Sycan River there is still active fire in the treed riparian area, but the wetter areas of the Sycan Marsh will likely remain unburned.

The southern and western portions of the fire have shown little fire activity and remain in monitor and patrol status.

“The cooler temperatures and precipitation yesterday were a welcome change,” said Incident Meteorologist Chris Foltz. “A wetting rain fell yesterday dropping as much as 0.6 of an inch on the western area of the fire. The eastern side was a bit drier, but still received a tenth of an inch. Not all areas of the fire received rain, but overall the cooler, more humid conditions are beneficial for the firefighting crews.”

The rain and cloud cover kept humidity levels above 60%.

The rain tapered off overnight, although isolated thunderstorms are still possible, especially in the northwest region, over the next few days.

Warmer temperatures will return and humidity will decrease starting today and over the next few days, so crews are watching for increased fire activity.

Evacuations

Evacuation levels for the Bootleg Fire are being lowered again in Lake County.

Thanks both to some helpful weather and firefighters’ containment efforts, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management are removing all residences in Lake County outside of the fire’s perimeter from a Level 3 evacuation. Effective immediately:

Level 3 – GO NOW!

A Level 3 evacuation remains in place for all areas inside the Bootleg Fire perimeter. The Level 3 extends to areas immediately adjacent to the fire line in all directions, and also includes Yamsay Mountain, Thompson Reservoir, and the Sycan Marsh to the top of Winter Rim.

Level 2 – Be Set

A Level 2 evacuation is in place adjacent to the Level 3 evacuation area in all directions, and encompasses Highway 31 from milepost 73 south to Monument Rock.

Level 1 – Be Ready

A Level 1 evacuation is in place adjacent to the Level 2 evacuation area in all directions. The communities of Summer Lake and Paisley are in no evacuation level.

 

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