- Dry conditions, a drought and the recent record heat wave in the region have created powder keg conditions.
- At least 2,000 homes have been evacuated at one point during the fire and 5,000 more threatened.
- In total, some 83 major forest fires are burning in 13 states, most in the western United States.
A massive wildfire in Oregon, which reached a third the size of Rhode Island, prompted firefighters to call for help from outside the Pacific Northwest to prepare for more fires in the parched state.
The Bootleg Fire, which now measures approximately 568 square miles, burns 300 miles southeast of Portland in and around the Fremont-Winema National Forest, a vast expanse of old growth forests, lakes, and wildlife refuges. Fortunately, the fire is located in an area remote from the masses of the population.
The concern is that dry conditions, drought and the recent record heat wave in the region have created powder keg conditions, so resources such as fire trucks are being recruited from places like Arkansas, the Nevada and Alaska.
At least 2,000 homes have been evacuated at one point during the fire and 5,000 more threatened. At least 70 houses and more than 100 outbuildings caught fire.
Tuesday’s forecast did not bode well: “The combination of extreme drought, gusty winds and dry lightning will cause another day of fire-related weather problems” for much of the region, the National said. Weather Service.
“Thunderstorms before the advance of a cold front entering the Pacific Northwest today are likely to produce little precipitation, but lightning could reach dehydrated terrain and start new forest fires,” said the meteorological service. “Red flag warnings are in effect and extend from northern California to Wyoming.”
A red flag warning means critical fire weather conditions are occurring or will occur shortly.
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A total of 83 large forest fires are burning in 13 states, most in the western United States, the National Interagency Fire Center said on Tuesday. Nearly 20,000 firefighters were battling the fires, which cover nearly 1.3 million acres of land.
Sixteen large, uncontrolled fires burned in Oregon and Washington state alone on Monday.
Further south, in north-central California, the 93-square-mile Dixie Fire burned down on Tuesday, threatening more than 800 homes and other structures, Cal Fire said. The fire, which is only 15% contained, spread overnight and continues to move north and east.
On Monday, the blaze generated a thunderstorm over itself, sending out lightning bolts and gusts of wind.
The edge of the blaze is a few miles from the town of Paradise, Calif., Which burned almost to the ground three years ago in a wildfire that killed 85 people.
Contribution: The Associated Press