A raging inferno continued to spread across southeastern Oregon Saturday morning, fueled by dangerous “fire clouds” that are containing heat and spreading embers across the drought-stricken region.
The Bootleg fire is now larger than the area of New York City, The Associated Press reported. Active flames driven by gusty winds are surging along 200 miles of the blaze’s perimeter.
It’s just 22 percent contained, US Forest Service data shows, and is expected to merge with another fire nearby by nightfall. While the oppressive heat that blanketed the Pacific Northwest has eased, the National Weather Service nevertheless has a “red flag” up for the region, warning that dry air and afternoon winds will create “increasingly critical conditions for portions of the area.”
The blaze destroyed 67 homes and 117 other buildings in one county overnight Thursday.AP
The blaze has forced 2,000 people to evacuate and is threatening 5,000 buildings in the largely rural area just north of the California border,