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Wildfires continue to consume Western states

More than 300,000 acres were burned Sunday across six Western states amid record heat waves.

Updated: July 12, 2021 - 1:52pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Bootleg wildfire that in roughly the past six days has engulfed over 150,000 acres in Oregon continued Monday to spread rapidly across the state. 

Charles Smith, National Weather Service meteorologist, said officials are particularly concerned about this wildfire because it started so early in the annual season.

The fire, which is threatening power grids and lives, comes amid a heat wave that in the past weeks has brought a string of 100-plus degree days to the usually tempered Northwest. 

"The fire is changing so dramatically – in the past couple days, it doubled in size. It's going to take a long time before it’s safe for people to return," said Mark Enty, a spokesman for Northwest Incident Management Team said, according to The New York Times.

Enty reports no fire-related injuries or deaths. But officials continue to call Bootleg “unprecedented,” as it grows and threatens a major power grid connecting Oregon and California. 

The wildfire began July 6 in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, near the Sprague River, according to an incident report. The fire soon spread to Klamath County, which resulted in a Level 3 evacuation, meaning residents are in immediate danger and need to leave. 

On Friday, Death Valley in California reached 130 degrees and just over 120 degrees on Sunday. The heatwave continues to flow throughout the Western states as temperatures ranging from 100 to 118 degrees are expected to hit in areas of California and Nevada until Tuesday.

More than 300,000 acres were burned Sunday across six Western states amid the record heat waves.

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