By Joe Sutton, Michael Guy and Holly Silverman | CNN
The bootleg fire has scorched 537 square miles—an area larger than Los Angeles and about half the size of Rhode Island. This increased to about 364,113 acres on Monday and is 30% contained, Oregon Department of Forestry spokesman Marcus Kaufman told CNN.
It is one of at least eight major fires burning in Oregon and at least 80 in 13 states. National Interagency Fire Center. The climate crisis has made Deadly and more devastating wildfires are the new normal.
Much of the West remains at risk of a fire situation on Tuesday, with nearly 3.5 million people under red flag warning, according to a tweet. National Weather Service Weather Forecast Center. A red flag warning means “severe fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will occur soon,” the forecasting center said.
Extreme heat warnings will continue for more than 337,000 people, and about 650,000 more people are being advised of heat.
CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said temperatures in the region would be 10 degrees above normal for the next 48 hours. There is also the potential for dry storms, which lack the rainfall that is desperately needed to help quell the flames.
While some sporadic rain is possible in the Intermountain West, “it’s not really going to do much in the way of fighting any wildfires out west,” Guy said.
“There may be some rain from the afternoon storm, but it is not enough to stop or extinguish the fire,” he said.
bootleg fire weather is changing
A satellite image posted by the Weather Service shows smoke from fires in western Canada and the Intermountain West.
In Oregon, fire officials noted that bootleg fires are showing “aggressive surfaces spread with pyrocumulus growth.”
pyrocumulus cloud When extreme heat from wildfires causes the air to rapidly rise up, condense and cool any moisture on the smoke particles produced by the fire. These clouds essentially become thunderstorms of their own and can contain lightning and strong winds.
“The fire is so big and generating so much energy and extreme heat that it’s weather changing,” Kaufman explained. “Generally, the weather predicts what a fire will do. In such a situation, the fire is predicting what the weather will do.
prolonged dry The fire situation is also exacerbating, and Kaufman anticipates that the massive fire will continue to escalate.
“The fires burning are dense fuels that have been extremely dry from prolonged droughts. To date, the weather has been consistently hot, dry with humidity of almost single digits,” he said.
The third largest fire in the state’s history
The bootleg fire began on July 6 in the Fremont-Winema National Forest near the California border and has little left in its way. There are currently over 2,000 people evicted from their homesAccording to Fire Public Information Officer Sarah Gracie.
Gracie said sixty-seven homes were destroyed, along with 117 smaller structures such as sheds or separate garages.
The fire has averaged a rate of spread to about 1,100 acres per hour for more than 13 consecutive days—a rate that would burn in New York’s Central Park in just 45 minutes.
Guy said there is little hope of progress against the flames as winds of up to 25 mph are expected over the next few days.
Kaufman said the bootleg fire is the third largest wildfire in the state’s history. The Long Draw Fire in 2012 burned 557,028 acres and is the largest wildfire in Oregon since 1900, Kaufman said. The Biscuit fire in 2002 became the second largest fire in the state, burning nearly 500,000 acres.
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