In the US state of Oregon, the nation’s largest active wildfire has burned through more than 300,000 acres, prompting thousands of evacuations. Over 2,000 fire-fighters are tackling the so-called Bootleg Fire – one of the largest blazes in Oregon’s history. Since starting on 6 July, it has already scorched an area larger than the city of Los Angeles.
The Bootleg Fire, named after the nearby Bootleg Spring, has forced at least 2,000 residents from mostly rural areas to abandon their homes. At least 160 homes and buildings have been destroyed so far. Authorities said that a quarter of the fire’s perimeter had been contained. The Bootleg Fire has created conditions so extreme that firefighters have had to seek safety for the ninth day in a row. According to a Monday update from Inciweb, firefighters were forced to find safety zones and wait for opportunities to re-engage in the battle. There are currently 80 large wildfires raging in 13 states across the US, burning more than 1.1 million acres, mostly in western states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC). Montana has reported the most large wildfires with 18, and Idaho is close behind with 17, the NIFC said.
Nearly 20,000 wildland firefighters and personnel are assigned to the 80 large wildfires currently burning across the United States. After Oregon, the state’s with the most acres burned are California, Idaho and then Alaska. The fire, burning 300 miles (480km) south-east of Portland has destroyed over 160 buildings and threatens thousands of others. Two evacuation centres have been set up for residents in several cities, including Klamath Falls and Redmond.