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Wildfire

Rain Eases The Bootleg Fire, For Now

In this photo provided by the Bootleg Fire Incident Command, a plane drops retardant near Mitchell Monument in the Bootleg Fire, July 19, 2021.
Bootleg Fire Incident Command
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In this photo provided by the Bootleg Fire Incident Command, a plane drops retardant near Mitchell Monument in the Bootleg Fire, July 19, 2021.

Rainfall in Southern Oregon has helped slow the growth of the massive Bootleg Fire in the Klamath Basin.

The wet weather is keeping grass and other light vegetation wet. Winds are also slowing down. Local firefighting agencies are even planning to scale back some of their firefighting efforts.

Klamath County has lifted all evacuations for its side of the fire. Some evacuations in Lake County remain in place.

“We're certainly cautiously optimistic that those days of extraordinarily long runs of this fire are behind us, but we're not going to become complacent and we don't want area residents to become complacent either,” says incident spokesman Al Nash.

Still, Nash warns that this small bit of rain is just a drop in the bucket.

“One day of good weather that benefits the firefighting efforts doesn't negate all of the ongoing drought conditions,” he says.

Nash says warmer days are ahead, and a small bit of rain won’t do much to alleviate the extreme drought that’s contributing to the massive wildfire.

The Bootleg Fire has grown to almost 411,000 acres and is just over halfway contained. It’s still the largest wildfire in the nation and the third-largest in state history. Nash says it’s destroyed over 160 homes so far.