Days of cloud cover and light rain has enabled fire crews to make significant progress battling the Bootleg Fire. As of Sunday morning, containment had jumped to 74 percent.
As of Sunday, the entire perimeter has been closed and crews are working to expand the width of the line, extinguish residual heat and flames, cut snags so they don’t roll downslope taking embers with them, and use bulldozers to straighten the ragged edge on the east side of the fire. Because there has not been more spot fires or breaches of the line, the Incident Management Team has been able to allocate resources to focus on the active areas of the fire and strengthen fire line.
Those efforts may be just in time. On Monday, some isolated thunderstorms are possible, but they are more likely to bring gusty winds than rain. By Tuesday or Wednesday, warmer temperatures, low humidity, and gusty winds are likely to create conditions for rapid fire spread. This will be a test of the work that has been done so far to contain the fire.
“We’re not nervous about this weather,” said Karen Scholl, Operations Section Chief. “We want this test to happen to see how our line holds, while we have crews and contingencies in place. We believe we’re in a good position to be tested.”
Evacuations: In Lake County, a Level 3 evacuation remains in place for all areas around the Bootleg Fire perimeter. The Level 3 extends to areas immediately adjacent to the fire line in all directions and includes Yamsay Mountain, Thompson Reservoir, and the Sycan Marsh to the top of Winter Rim. No evacuations are in place in Klamath County.
Closures: The Fremont-Winema National Forest is now open south of Oregon State Route 140. Closures remain in effect north of the highway to provide for public safety and the safety of firefighters. The full closure order and map are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/fremont-winema/alerts-notices