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Bootleg fire burns with no containment

Courtesy photo | The Bootleg Fire has burned 143,607 acres on the Fremont-Winema National Forest and private lands as of Sunday, July 11, 2021.

The Bootleg Fire has burned 143,607 acres on the Fremont-Winema National Forest and private lands north of Sprague River and Beatty as of Sunday afternoon. The fire is burning with no containment.

Resources on the fire Sunday included 926 personnel, 10 helicopters, six dozers, 83 engines and 25 water tenders.

Additional resources were called in to protect structures and manage extreme fire behavior due to hot, dry weather and dry fuels, according to Northwest Incident Management Team 10.

Conditions escalated Saturday afternoon, “resulting in immediate, life-threatening risk to public and emergency responder safety,” according to the team’s Sunday update. “Conditions were so extreme that firefighters needed to disengage and move to predetermined safety zones.”

The cause of the Bootleg Fire is under investigation.

The fire grew four miles east and north through Sycan Estates and burned an additional eight miles along the high voltage powerline corridor Saturday.

Working in lighter wind and fuel conditions, crews and air support minimized fire growth on the southwest side of the fire, protecting Klamath Forest Estates, Moccasin Hills, Tablelands and Chiloquin.

Resources increased Sunday on night shift, when conditions are better for firefighting and constructing containment lines. Crews concentrated efforts on structural protection and began scouting primary and secondary containment perimeters.

Up to date evacuation information is available through the Klamath County Sherriff’s Office Emergency Alert system at: http://Alerts.KlamathCounty.org or by phone at 541-363-7765.

An evacuation center is set up at the Klamath County Fairgrounds in Klamath Falls.

People who ignore Level 3 evacuation orders and closure restrictions may be cited or arrested by Klamath County Sheriff’s deputies.

Drone activity near the fire is prohibited and forces grounding of all airborne firefighting resources.

An updated map of the emergency fire closure order area is available at fs.usda.gov/alerts/Fremont-winema/alerts-notices.