The largest of the dozens of fires in the US today has reached such large dimensions that already generates its own climatic conditions, making it difficult for firefighters to work, authorities reported Tuesday.
The fire christened “Bootleg”, in the southeastern state of Oregon along the border with California, has already burned more than 157,000 hectares since it was declared in early July, has destroyed 117 human buildings and has more than 2,000 firefighters fighting the flames.
“Fire is so big and generates so much energy and extreme heat that is changing weather conditions“Oregon Forest Department spokesman Marcus Kauffman explained in a statement to the press on Tuesday.
“Normally, the weather situation predicts what the fire will do. In this case, It is the fire that is predicting what the weather will do“, he indicated.
Only fires of titanic dimensions like this are capable of affecting the climate, something that complicates extinction tasks even more, by not allowing to predict what will be the evolution of the flames in the short term.
The images taken by satellites on Tuesday showed a gigantic column of smoke that, from southeastern Oregon, it moved north until it reached the border with Canada, about 1,000 kilometers.
The fire affects a mountainous and vegetative area in the Fremont-Winema National Forest and the firefighters do not plan to have it fully contained until the beginning of October.
Its proximity to a high-voltage power transmission line connecting the California and Oregon grids has prompted authorities to ask consumers on several occasions throughout these days that reduce electricity consumption as much as possible, to prevent it from becoming overloaded and making the situation worse.
In addition to the one in Oregon, 80 other large fires develop in various parts of the western United States, several of them in California, where the extreme drought after a winter with little rain and the high temperatures of recent weeks have brought the fire season forward by several months.
Oregon authorities they asked for help from outside the region to deal with the risk of thunderstorms, which could start new fires while the state continues to fight a huge fire.
The Bootleg Fire, which spanned 1,391 square kilometers (537 square miles), burned 483 kilometers (300 miles) southeast of Portland in and around the Fremont-Winema National Forest. The area is an extension of ancient forests, lakes and protected areas. Evacuations and property damage have been minimal compared to much smaller fires in more populated areas of California.
But in the face of the rapid growth of the fire, fueled by extreme weather, authorities in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in southeastern Oregon, they asked for more teams to be prepared outside in case fires broke out in the area.
“Although the lightning activity planned for earlier this week is expected to occur east of us, we are prepared for the worst, and we hope for the best, ” said Mike McCann, a firefighter’s assistant, in a statement released Monday by the national forest.
The fear is that a dry environment, drought and the recent record heat wave in the region have created the perfect conditions for a fireSo resources like fire trucks were gathering in places like Arkansas, Nevada, and Alaska.
Source: EFE and AP