Wildland Fire News

Friday, July 23, 2021

Oregon’s Bootleg Fire surpasses 400K acres, containment now at 40 percent

Firefighters continue to work day and night to contain a massive wildfire that has been burning in Klamath and Lake counties for more than two weeks. As of Friday morning, the Bootleg Fire has burned about 400,389 acres. The fire grew minimally since Thursday, only adding about 1,030 acres. The wildfire, which has been burning in the Fremont-Winema National Forest since July 6, is now 40 percent contained, according to officials. The cause of the fire has been determined to be lightning. In total, 2,389 personnel are assigned to fighting the Bootleg Fire. There are 197 engines, 80 water tenders, 42 dozers, and 28 other heavy equipment working on the fire. Officials said the fire pushed to the east Thursday and jumped the 2901 road in several places. Firefighters worked through the night lining the spot fires with dozers, engines and hand crews.
KPTV FOX 12 Portland

Northern California wildfires: Dixie Fire tops 100k acres; questions raised over Tamarack Fire

As two major California wildfires continue to spread rapidly, one politician is questioning whether federal fire crews have a handle on the situation. The Dixie Fire expanded 18,000 acres through Wednesday, topping 100,000 acres total. It will soon surpass the Beckwourth Complex to become California’s largest wildfire this year. But it is the Tamarack Fire, which as of Wednesday night has charred over 50,000 acres with minimal containment, that drawing attention on Capitol Hill. Rep. Tom McClintock has asked the U.S. Forest Service chief why there appeared to be a lack of action to contain the Tamarack Fire in the Humboldt-Toyaibe National Forest earlier this month. “When was the decision made to monitor this fire instead of immediately acting to suppress it? Why was this decision made?” the Elk Grove Republican asked in a letter Tuesday to Vicki Christiansan of the Forest Service.
Sacramento Bee - Metered Site

Alaska state forestry air tanker assists Canada with retardant drops on wildfire in the Yukon

The State of Alaska has a cross-border “splash and dash” agreement with Canada to provide aerial assistance with wildfire suppression, if resources are available. Tanker 540 and lead plane ASM A4 made the 1-hour flight to Dawson and dropped three loads of retardant around the Bell Creek Fire burning about 12 miles southwest of Dawson. The tanker and lead plane flew back across the border to the Tanacross Tanker Base near Tok to reload and refuel following the first drop and the tanker made two more drops to help buy more time for the Yukoners to get ground forces in place. ASM A4 also served as the lead plane for a Yukon Electra P3 air tanker that was making drops on the fire. At last report, the Bell Creek Fire was approximately 37 acres. The Yukon Protective Services’ wildland fire management division recorded 17 new wildfires on Wednesday across central and southern Yukon as a result of more than 3,800 lightning strikes.
AK Fire Info

Chuweah Creek Fire continues burning in Washington

The Chuweah Creek Fire, burning northeast of Nespelem on the Colville Indian Reservation, had charred about 36,690 acres of land as of Thursday morning, July 22. Containment was at 40 percent, according to Northwest Incident Management Team 12. Blowing embers on the upper eastern section of the blaze caused two small spot fires Wednesday, but firefighters jumped on them quickly, said officials. A section of partially burned fuel also ignited, but was controlled with help from water drops. Fire lines were tested Wednesday by shifting winds gusting up to 30 mph. Cooler temperatures and decreased wind should give firefighters favorable conditions to continue tying together containment lines today. Monitoring and patrolling continues. Two more crews are expected by Saturday.
The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Bootleg Fire 3rd largest wildfire in Oregon since year 1900 - and growing

The Bootleg Fire is now the third largest wildfire in Oregon since the year 1900. And with containment at 38% on the lightning-caused fire first detected July 6, the blaze could still climb to the top of that list. The fire has burned 399,359 acres as of Thursday and now ranks third largest in terms of acreage after overtaking the Buzzard Complex (2014, 395,747 acres), the Holloway (2012, 245,000 acres) and Bandon (1936, 287,000 acres) fires. Only the Long Draw (2012, 558,198 acres) and Biscuit (2002, 500,000 acres) fires have burned more acres. And the Long Draw was a range fire in southeastern Oregon, so in terms of forest fires the Biscuit and Bootleg are the biggest in modern Oregon history. The Biscuit burned in southwest Oregon; no other fire in modern times has burned so many acres in the southcentral Oregon region. But is this really one of the biggest fires ever? An expert at Oregon State University says no.
KCBY-TV CBS 11 North Bend

Conditions remain unsafe for direct fire line work on Crater Ridge Fire in Northern Wyoming

The Bighorn National Forest said on Wednesday morning that conditions remain unsafe for fire crews to try to construct a direct fire line adjacent to the Crater Ridge Fire burning about 12 miles north of Medicine Mountain. The remoteness of the fire, steep terrain in the area and “continuous fuels” make direct work unsafe so fire crews are instead using an indirect strategy to respond to the fire, which remains 0% contained. The indirect strategy means that fire crews need more room to work and the forest closure area in effect is therefore “considerably larger than the fire itself,” according to the Bighorn National Forest. The fire, which was initially discovered on Saturday, July 17, has burned an estimated 383 acres. “Please respect the area closure, allowing firefighters to work without concern for the safety of public visitors in the path of the fire, and reducing traffic hazards to fire crews,” the Wednesday morning update states.
Oil City News

Cal Fire runs 24-hour operation out of McClellan Air Park to support firefighters with air tankers

As multiple major fires burn around the state, Cal Fire is sending in air support to help firefighters on the ground. “So far this year, we’re … probably at least 163,000 acres above what we were last year,” Tyson Federici, a Cal Fire apparatus engineer, told FOX40. This year, they are sending out massive air tankers earlier than ever before to help knock down flames up and down the state, Cal Fire said. “Without them, I think we’d be seeing our fires get a lot bigger a lot quicker,” Federici said. Cal Fire’s Aviation Headquarters runs a 24-hour operation out of McClellan Air Park, making sure each tanker is fueled, maintained and filled with retardant to be ready at a moment’s notice. Tuesday, crews filled tankers with 180,000 gallons of retardant alone. Since the beginning of June, they’ve dropped 1.3 million gallons of retardant on fires across California.
KTXL-TV Fox 40 Sacramento

Two-dozen Utah firefighters head to Montana to help with wildfires

Another group of Utah firefighters is heading out of state to help crews in Montana who are dealing with several wild fires there. Two dozen Utah firefighters from around the state are answering this latest call for assistance from another state. They are part of the emergency management assistance compact, team members number three and four. They are right now on their way to Billings, Montana where they will meet and brief with crews on the ground there to figure out where they are most needed. The goal of this interstate compact system is exactly what’s happening right now, when one state needs assistance they can call on and receive support and resources from neighboring states.
KSTU-TV FOX 13 Salt Lake City

Tennessee deploys 36 firefighters to assist with raging western wildfires

The Tennessee Division of Forestry announced Wednesday it had deployed 36 firefighters to help fight the wildfires that continue to burn and spread in the western United States. In all, 83 large wildfires are currently burning across 13 states, the National Interagency Fire Center said Tuesday. The State Department of Agriculture reported the firefighters are members of seven incident management teams deployed to the west. The state also provided eight pieces of equipment to assist in the fighting the fires. Oregon's massive Bootleg Fire, at 616 square miles, was 32% contained as of Wednesday morning. Tennessee firefighters are assisting in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Florida, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, California, Oregon, Idaho and Washington.

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