Bootleg Fire tops 200,000 acres; evacuations, area closures extended to Lake County

KTVZ

SPRAGUE RIVER, Ore. (KTVZ) — The week-old Bootleg Fire on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, fueled by heat, wind and drought conditions, has grown to over 200,000 acres, and officials on Tuesday announced new closures and evacuations extending into Lake County.

The emergency closure was expanded for the second time in a week due to increased fire activity and movement.

Additionally, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management has identified areas for Level 3 (Go Now), Level 2 (Get Set) and Level 1 (Be Ready) in western Lake County due to the fire, and is notifying residents and recreating public in the Level 3 area, officials said Tuesday morning.

More information at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7609/

Lake County Evacuations

Level 3 (Go Now)

  • South of the Sycan River, south of Forest Roads 3239 and 28, and the Gearhart Wilderness west of Forest Road 3372 in Lake County.

Level 2 (Get Set)

  • Sycan Marsh area, Chocktoot Creek Drainage area, west of Forest Road 28 and east of Forest Road 3372, north of Forest Road 34, and through the area that includes Corral Creek Campground and Mitchell Monument.

Level 1 (Be Ready)

  • From the northeast at the Lake County line, through the Yamsay Mountain Recreation Area, extending east to the south of Thompson Reservoir to Winter Rim Recreation Area, then south near the Forest Boundary, then following Chewaucan Road south to Forest Road 34.

The evacuation levels include recreation sites in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, as well as private property.

The expanded forest closure order is on National Forest System lands south of Silver Lake Road between U.S. Highway 97 and Oregon State Highway 31; west of Oregon State Highway 31 and U.S. Highway 395; north of the Oregon-California Stateline; northeast of Willow Valley Road, Langell Valley Road, Bly Mountain Cutoff Road, Oregon State Highway 140 and Sprague River Road to U.S. Highway 97; and east of U.S. Highway 97 between Chiloquin and Silver Lake Road.

All roads, recreation sites and facilities are closed within the closure area.

“The Bootleg Fire has moved rapidly through Klamath and Lake counties, with extreme fire behavior driven by hot weather, winds and exceptionally dry fuels since it was discovered last Tuesday,” said Fremont-Winema National Forest Supervisor Barry Imler.  “For public and firefighter safety, it is essential that we expand the closure area while firefighters, the Incident Management Team and area fire managers work together to contain and control the fire.”

The closure order is formally referenced as 06-02-21-05.  It went into effect Monday night and is in effect until conditions allow or December 31, 2021, whichever occurs first.  There will be public notifications when the closure order is lifted.

Area residents and Forest visitors are asked to avoid the fire area and related roads while suppression activities continue.  Anyone driving in the area should watch for increased traffic and vehicles associated with wildland firefighting.

Violations of the closure order are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment of not more than 6 months or both. For more information on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/fremont-winema, follow the Forest on Twitter @FremontWinemaNF or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/R6FWNF

KTVZ

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