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Extreme conditions worsen on 77,000 acre Bootleg Fire; residents who do not want to travel can be arrested

Saturday’s conditions were so bad that firefighters had to move to safety zones

SPRAGUE RIVER, Ore. (KTVZ) – Firefighters, emergency managers and other public safety officials on Saturday faced the fifth day in a row of extreme, intense fire behavior at Bootleg Fire as hot, dry and windy weather persists in the Fremont-Winema National Forest area – in fact it got so bad firefighters had to move to safety zones, and residents who refused to travel were quoted and could be arrested.

These conditions escalated Saturday afternoon, officials said in an update at. 20, “resulting in an immediate, life-threatening risk to the safety of the area’s residents, visitors, firefighters and other relief workers.”


Due to public safety concerns and immediate threat to life, the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office took the rare step of citing or arresting those who remained in or attempted to reoccupy Level 3 evacuation areas in the Bootleg Fire Area. As the fire progresses, there is a high probability of further evacuation messages in the area.

Conditions on Saturday were so extreme that firefighters had to free themselves and move to predetermined safety zones. Firefighters assessed the situation and looked for opportunities to recreate the firefighters safely.

Wildland and Structural Protection Event Commanders Al Lawson and Lance said lightly: “Our first priority is to provide firefighters and public safety. Removing our firefighters from these conditions is always our guide under such extreme conditions. ”

“Today marks the 20th anniversary of Thirtymile Fire (Washington State), in which four firefighters tragically lost their lives,” Lawson said. “The fire behavior we see on Bootleg Fire is among the most extreme you can find, and firefighters see conditions they have never seen before. We understand the frustration of society as the fire continues to grow. We also need to ensure that our firefighters are able to engage safely so that they can return home at the end of this task to their families. ”

For current fire information, call the fire information lines below.

Area residents and visitors are also being asked to continue to be extremely careful about anything that could trigger a wildfire, especially as fuels increasingly dry out. A small spark can quickly grow to several hundred acres under current conditions.

On Saturday afternoon, an official in Klamath County said some residents of the eastern county have not followed warnings to evacuate and are still in a restricted area.

“This violates the closure restrictions and intervenes in firefighting and lifesaving efforts,” said County Emergency Manager Brandon Fowler.

As a result, he said the sheriff’s office “has started issuing quotes and will, if necessary, make arrests to keep people out of the level 3 evacuation areas.”

“We advise that if you are in a Level 3 evacuation area, EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY,” Fowler said in a press release. “There is a very high probability that we may not be able to reach you with further warnings.

“Unnecessary traffic in the area east of Sprague River Road impedes fire response and safety,” he added. “If you do not belong in the area, stay out!”

Here is the Saturday morning report:

The bootleg fire continues to burn on the Fremont-Winema National Forest and on private lands. Warm and dry weather conditions continue overnight and are expected to today. Additional resources have been ordered and continue to arrive.


Yesterday / Last night: Low relative humidity and very dry fuel (brush, grass, trees) caused fire growth to the north and east, with the fire moving closer to Sycan Estates and the area with the high voltage line. Firefighters kept firefighting south and west (approximately along Forest Road 4437). Oppression efforts focused on areas closest to residents and communities south of and east of the fire.

Today: In the southern and southwestern part of the fire (closest communities in the High Tableland and Sprague River Valley), firefighters will secure and improve containment lines, continue structural triage, create sound space around structures, and provide structural protection.

The fire is expected to continue moving east (area of ​​the high-voltage line corridor) and north (Forest Road 46), so firefighters continue structural triage and protection in Sycan Estates and surrounding homes. They also identify places (usually a road or open area) to safely and efficiently build fire containment lines.

Around the entire perimeter, fire personnel are also working to identify places where a secondary (emergency) containment line can be safely built if a fire moves past primary containment lines.

Aircraft (helicopters and fixed-wing water and inhibitory droplets) will be used to assist crews on the ground, but aircraft will be grounded if any drone activity is detected in the area.

Fire size: 76,897 acres

Location: North of the towns of Sprague River and Beatty

Inclusion: 0%

Cause: Under investigation

Resources: 3 hotshot crews, 5 type II initial attack crews, 3 type II crews, 10 helicopters, 5 bulldozers, 51 engines, 15 water tines

Staff: 580

Fire Information: 541-363-7765 971-727-7255 541-236-4054

EVACUATIONS: As recommended by the Bootleg Fire Incident Commander, the following current evacuation levels are issued by Klamath County Emergency Management.


Level 3 (GO NOW) Evacuation message

Klamath County, north of Beatty. Sycan Estates Area is under extended level 3 (GO NOW) evacuation notice and must leave immediately. This is due to IMMINENT DANGER due to fire in fire.

EVACUATION at level 3 (GO NOW)

Klamath County, north of Beatty. Level 3 (GO NOW) Evacuation starting at the forest boundary at Ivory Pines Rd 10.5 km north of 140 and extending east of Ivory Pine Rd 4 miles. This is due to IMMINENT DANGER due to wildfire.


Level 3 (GO NOW) Evacuation

Klamath County, near the town of Sprague River. Upper tablet land area north of Oregon Pines Rd is below evacuation level 3 and must leave immediately.

EVACUATION at level 3 (GO NOW)

Klamath County, north of Beatty. The north end of Godowa Springs Rd north of the quarry is below Level 3 (GO NOW) Evacuation Notice.

Level 2 (GET SET) Evacuation message

Klamath County, north of Beatty. The area north of Highway 140 on both sides of Godowa Springs Road is under Level 2 (GET SET) evacuation notice and must be prepared to travel.

Level 2 (GET SET) Evacuation message

Klamath County, near the town of Sprague River. Klamath Forest Estates / Moccasin Hills Area is under Level 2 (GET SET) evacuation notice and must be prepared to travel

Evacuation Center: Klamath County Fairgrounds (in Klamath Falls), South 6th Street entrance only.

PUBLIC AND FIRE-FIGHTING SAFETY: Be aware of increased fire equipment traffic on area roads and highways, especially in the Chiloquin area – be careful and drive defensively. Do not fly drones near the fire; drone activity will result in grounding of all airborne firefighting resources.

SMOKE: Smoke is expected to continue to affect the local area. If you are sensitive to smoke, check the air quality levels at www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.


The Fremont-Winema National Forest is closed to the public in the area of ​​the fire. See map and notice of emergency closure 06-02-21-03 on InciWeb (Google “InciWeb Bootleg Fire”) or on the forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/Fremont-winema/alerts-notices.


Conditions are unusually hot and dry this year. Report suspected forest fires immediately to 911.

Personal fire information options

On Sunday, July 11, fire and county officials will be at the following locations to provide information and answer questions. Because the team makes several stops, the times listed are approximate.

· Sprague River Community Center, at 13-13

Beatty Community Center, 1:45 pm – 2:15 pm

Bly, 14:30 – 15:00

· Paisley (location TBA), at 16.30 – 17.00

· Summer Lake (location TBA), at. 17.30 – 18.00

Four information boards that are updated daily can be found at:

· Chiloquin public car park

Beatty Community Center

· Sprague River Community Center

· Stay Ranger District Office

Bly: Breadwagon

· Klamath Falls: Klamath County Fairgrounds Evacuation Center for the Red Cross

· Klamath Falls: Crater Lake Junction Travel Center (KLA-MO-YA Casino)

Get more information online:
• Email: 2021.bootleg@firenet.gov
• Web: www.inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7609/
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SCOFMPFIREINFO
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NorthwestTeam10/
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/R6FWNF

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