Firefighters dropped retardant from the air Tuesday, July 13, to suppress a wildfire in Oregon, as blazes rage across the western United States.
READ MORE: Hand crews backed by water-dropping helicopters struggled on Thursday to suppress a huge wildfire that displaced roughly 2,000 residents in southern Oregon, the largest among dozens of blazes raging across the drought-stricken western United States.
The Bootleg Fire has charred more than 91,860 hectares of desiccated timber and brush in and around the Fremont-Winema National Forest since erupting on July 6 about 400 kilometers south of Portland.
That total, exceeding the land mass of New York City, was 4,856 hectares higher than Wednesday's tally. Strike teams have carved containment lines around 7% of the fire’s perimeter, up from 5% a day earlier, but Incident Commander Joe Hessel said the blaze would continue to expand. "The extremely dry vegetation and weather are not in our favor," Hessel said on Twitter.
More than 1,700 firefighters and a dozen helicopters were assigned to the blaze, with demand for personnel and equipment across the Pacific Northwest beginning to strain available resources, said Jim Gersbach, a spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Forestry.