PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – As the hot and dry conditions continue in Southern Oregon, the area’s Bootleg Fire, in Klamath County, has grown more than 66,000 acres in 24 hours.
On Saturday morning, the fire was reportedly near 77,000 acres large. The wildfire grew dramatically throughout the day, now burning up to 143,607 acres total. This large acreage now qualifies the fire as a “megafire.“
At least 3,000 structures in the small towns of Sprague River and Beatty are threatened by the fire, officials confirmed to KOIN 6 News on Friday; however, the majority are under Level 2 evacuation notices.
Fueling the fire is timber and dry-climate brush, but officials said the fuel has record-low moisture content. Officials say the conditions escalated Saturday afternoon, resulting in life-threatening risk to the safety of residents, visitors, firefighters and other emergency responders.
The Oregon State Fire Marshal called for help from firefighters around the state. The Multnomah County Task Force was deployed — including fire crews from Portland, Gresham and Corbett — along with firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.
“All fire departments have a dual responsibility during wildfire season,” Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone said. “The primary mission is to provide local emergency response coverage as well an obligation under the state’s emergency mobilization plan, to help during wildfire conflagration.”
As of Sunday, about 926 personnel were responding to the wildfire.