Wildfires in Oregon continue to grow in size and intensity, and meteorologists warn that conditions are set to get even worse.
The Bootleg Fire, raging near the town of Klamath Falls, north of the California border, remains the leading wildfire in the state and is the largest active fire in the U.S. As of Monday, InciWeb, An online database cataloging wildfires reported that Bootleg had burned approximately 475 square miles, or nearly 304,000 acres, an area larger than Los Angeles. Only 25 percent of the fire is reported to be contained.
These figures are up from Friday, when Bootleg was reported to have destroyed an area of more than 377 miles and was 7 percent contained. Authorities estimated at the time that it could take until November for the fire to be contained by full.
“The fire is changing so dramatically, in the last two days, it has doubled in size,” Mark Enty, spokesman for the Northwest Incident Management Team 10, told the New York Times. “It will be a long time before it is safe for people to return. ”
Smuggling has so far destroyed 67 houses and more than 100 other buildings. As a result, thousands of residents in the path of the fire have been evacuated. Despite the immense destruction so far, no human deaths have been reported.
Even as wildfires continue to sweep across the Northwest, forecasters warn that current weather conditions could threaten to make matters worse.The Associated Press reported that the presence of high temperatures, unpredictable winds and dry lightning over the weekend prompted experts worry about the possibility of new fires breaking out or assets worsening. In response, California declared a rare “Red Flag” alert.
“With very dry fuels, any thunderstorm has the potential to start new fires,” the National Weather Service (NWS) in Sacramento warned in a tweet Sunday.
The NWS continued to issue warnings throughout Sunday and Monday for dry thunderstorms with the potential to worsen the wildfire situation.
The great “blaze clouds” of ash and smoke raised by recent fires have had an increasingly detrimental effect on air quality in the Northwest. According to a report from the Oregon state government, more recent wildfire seasons. This is a brief summary.