Wildfire In Oregon Becomes Biggest In Nation, Forcing Evacuations And Burning Over 200,000 Acres

(Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

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Kendall Tietz Education Reporter
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Oregon’s Bootleg Fire has now  burned over 200,000 acres in the state and has become the largest wildfire in the U.S., according to officials Tuesday, CBS News reported.

The fire started in Klamath County on July 6, CBS News reported. The cause of the fire is unknown, but officials mandated the evacuation of over 100 homes. The flames have destroyed 54 structures and 21 homes as of Tuesday, local CBS affiliate KOIN reported.

The wildfire is fueled by dry ground and high winds and will continue spreading in areas with above-average temperatures, according to fire officials, KOIN reported.

“This fire does have the potential to spread and the forest is very dry,” Nikki Swanson, Sweet Home district ranger and agency administrator said in a news release, CBS News reported. “The safety of the public and the firefighters is our first priority. We’re in the process of closing several roads and trails to ensure firefighters can work efficiently and that the public remains safe. This will be managed as a full suppression fire.”

There were three other fires in Oregon as of Tuesday night: the Jack Fire in Douglas County, which is 15% contained and has grown to more than 12,500 acres; the Grandview Fire near Oregon’s Crooked River National Grassland, which is 5% contained and has burned over 5,700 acres; and the Bruler Fire detected Monday near Detroit, which is around 60 acres and 0% contained.

The Bruler Fire is not currently a threat to any structures or communities, according to the U.S. Forest Service. In California, the Beckwourth Complex fire has burned over 90,000 acres as a combination of two fires in the Plumas National Forest.

Last year was the worst year ever for California wildfires, but already this year has seen twice as many acres burned, CBS News reported.

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