The nation’s largest active wildfire has burned over more than 300,000 acres in Oregon, forcing thousands of people to flee.
Over 2,000 firefighters are battling the so-called Bootleg Fire, which is one of Oregon’s largest in history.
It has already burnt an area larger than the city of Los Angeles since it began on July 6.
It’s one of more than 80 significant flames raging across 13 US states, fueled by extreme temperatures and strong winds. So far, at least 160 homes and structures have been destroyed.
According to authorities, a quarter of the perimeter of the fire had been contained. The Bootleg Fire, which is called for the adjacent Bootleg Spring, has caused at least 2,000 people to from their homes in primarily rural areas.
On Sunday, Operations Section Chief John Flannigan told US media, “Weather is really against us.” “It’s going to be hot, dry, and the air will be unstable, which will make the heat rise faster.”
The fire, which is blazing 300 miles (480 kilometers) south of Portland, has burned over 160 structures and is
threatening thousands more.
Residents in many cities, including Klamath Falls and Redmond, have been sent to two evacuation centers.
The weather outlook for this week isn’t expected to aid attempts to put out the fire. Temperatures are forecast to be 10 to 15 degrees above normal, with drought as well.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, wildfires have burned over 1.2 million acres across the country so far this year, mostly in western states.
More than 4,000 fires have been reported by the organization so far in 2021, about double the figure from the previous year. Compared to the same period last year, five times as many acres have been burned in California.
The Dixie Fire, one of the state’s recent fires, has been linked to PG&E, the utility company whose electrical lines were blamed for starting the 2018 Camp Fire, the state’s deadliest in history.
The recent fires have coincided with record-breaking heat waves in the western US, marking a heavier-than-normal start to the wildfire season.
According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, more than 150 new fires started burning in neighboring Canada just this past weekend.
According to the BBC, the probability for a historic 2021 North American wildfire season is “sky-high” due to a multi-year drought.
Climate change, according to many experts, increases the chance of hot, dry weather, which is more likely to fuel wildfires.
Since the beginning of the industrial period, the planet has warmed by around 1.2 degrees Celsius, and temperatures will continue to rise unless governments around the world drastically reduce emissions.