CHILOQUIN, Ore. – The Bootleg Fire grew more than tripled in size on the Chiloquin Ranger District of the Fremont-Winema National Forest. The fire is burning on Fuego Mountain approximately 11 miles northeast of the town of Sprague River.
The fire is now estimated to be 11,000 acres with no containment. It was reported around 1:45 p.m. yesterday and the cause is under investigation.
The fire is burning in steep, rugged terrain in mixed conifer and lodgepole pine. Fire behavior is extreme and includes running, torching, and spotting. Movement and fire growth today was observed to be moving mostly to the south and southeast.
Numerous resources are assigned to the fire and are on order. Northwest Team 10, a Type 2 Incident Command Team lead by Incident Commander Al Lawson, arrived in the area this evening and will be taking command of the fire at 6 a.m. tomorrow.
Today firefighters continued to gain intel and access points to the fire. Throughout the day, they were strengthening roads and continuing to use indirect firefighting tactics. The Klamath County Structural Taskforce started protection measures for private properties in the area.
The fire area continued to see hot, dry conditions and winds today, contributing to extreme fire behavior. There is a Red Flag Warning from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow for strong, gusty winds and low relative humidity in South Central Oregon, including the Bootleg Fire.
Smoke from the fire is highly visible from Oregon State Highway 140, Sprague River Highway, Chiloquin and the surrounding area. Drivers should expect increased traffic in the area from fire equipment and are asked to use caution driving in the area. Area residents and Forest visitors are asked to avoid the fire area, including Forest Roads 44, 46 and 3462, as well as Head of the River Campground and Sycan Crossing dispersed campground.
The fire is still only burning on National Forest System lands. However, multiple structures are threatened east of the fire.
Following are the current evacuation levels, at the request of the Bootleg Fire Incident Commander, issued by Klamath County Emergency Management:
- Two properties located northeast of the fire. Level 2 is notice that the danger has dramatically increased and they need to be prepared to leave at any moment.
- Sycan Estates area north of the town of Beatty in eastern Klamath County. Level 1 is notice for residents in the affected area that wildfire is potentially near them and they should begin preparations to leave should the Incident Commander believe further increase in evacuation levels is warranted.
- Residents north of Drews Road between Sprague River Road near the town of Sprague River and Godawa Springs Road north of the town of Beatty.
South Central Oregon is continuing to have an active and early fire season. Area residents and visitors are asked to use extreme caution with anything that could spark a wildfire. Suspected wildfires should be reported immediately to 911.