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Bootleg fire nears 50% containment

Courtesy photo | The Redwood Highway fire was fully lined and 45% contained Sunday, July 25, 2021.
Temperature inversion traps smoke in Rogue Valley

The Bootleg fire northeast of Klamath Falls burned at 408,930 acres and was 46% contained Sunday, as 2,216 personnel worked the fire.

On Saturday, “firefighters held the fire in check above Winter Rim, aided by the recent burnout operation near Summer Lake,” according to the Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team.

Saturday night, crews constructed line from Forest Road 28 to Sycan River in preparation for potential burnout operations ahead of the fire’s northern flank. Fire is active in the Coyote Creek drainage. Crews removed smoldering fuels from the eastern perimeter to improve containment lines.

“The progress that we have made is due to the continuous, vigilant work by our crews,” said Joe Hessel, incident commander. “Severe fire weather conditions and extremely dry fuels continue to challenge us on this fire.”

Oregon National Guard members are slated to join firefighters in suppression repair work where firefighting efforts have impacted the environment.

Fire activity was expected to increase Sunday afternoon in dry heat, with cooler temperatures and higher humidity projected to come with a wave of precipitation and thunderstorms Monday through Wednesday.

Smoke from the Jack fire to the northwest and Dixie fire in Northern California contributed to “very unhealthy” air quality around Silver Lake and Crater Lake Saturday — conditions expected to persist through Sunday.

Call 541-482-1331 for more information about the Bootleg fire.

The Jack fire east of Glide burned at 21,503 acres and was 57% contained as of Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

A total of 588 personnel, four aircraft, six dozers and 25 engines are working the fire scene, 243 structures are considered threatened and 15 people have been injured.

The fire is predominantly burning understory timber, leaf litter and brush in steep, rugged terrain, challenging containment efforts, according to Northwest Incident Management Team 10.

Mop-up and strengthening of containment lines continued north of Highway 138 Sunday. South of the road, crews reinforced control lines on the eastern flank of the fire and improved handline on the southeast portion.

Firefighters patrolled the Dry Creek and Horseshoe Bend campground areas and air support supplemented ground resources with water to limit fire spread to the east.

A temperature inversion trapped smoke in the Rogue Valley between cool air at the surface and warmer air in the atmosphere Sunday, according to a daily fire update.

The Redwood Highway fire four miles south of Selma was fully lined and contained Sunday after burning 6 acres, including spot fires, according to ODF.

The fire was reported around 6:30 p.m. Saturday along Highway 199. Upon arrival, firefighters discovered two small fires at mile makers 17 and 18, and a rapidly growing fire at mile marker 23.

One 20-person crew, four engines, two tree fallers and two overhead managers worked the scene, with aircraft on standby.

Initial attack resources included crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District, Illinois Valley Fire District, Rural Metro Fire, Grants Pass Fire District, Applegate Valley Fire District 9 and Rogue River Fire District 1, four air tankers and three helicopters. Crews and aircraft secured a perimeter around the fire within four hours.

Firefighters removed hazardous trees and finished mop-up by 2 p.m. Sunday.

Evacuation orders and road closures had been lifted around the Rolling Hills fire in the Green District of Roseburg as of Sunday. Areas west of Landers Avenue at Melody Lane remain closed.

The Rolling Hills fire was reported July 23 around 4:35 p.m. Upon arrival, crews found a rapidly growing 1-acre grass fire threatening multiple structures and prompting evacuation notices for residents in the Green District near Rolling Hills Road, Melody Lane, Stella Street, Landers Avenue and Chandler Drive.

The incident commander on scene reported the fire was contained shortly after 7 p.m. The fire burned 20 acres, destroyed two homes, several outbuildings and four vehicles.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing. A 13-year-old Roseburg teenager was charged with reckless burning for allegedly lighting a clump of dead grass on fire in their hand and dropping it to the ground when it became too hot, causing a larger fire, according to a preliminary investigation by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Resources on the fire included Douglas County Fire District 2, Winston-Dillard Fire Department, Roseburg Fire Department, Glendale Rural Fire Department, Lookingglass Rural Fire Department, Canyonville-South Umpqua Rural Fire Department, Camas Valley Rural Fire Department, Tri-City Rural Fire Department, Tenmile Rural Fire Department, Myrtle Creek Rural Fire Department, Riddle Rural Fire Departmen, Douglas Forest Protective Association, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Winston Police Department and Oregon State Police.