Wildfires burn across the West
Smoke billowed over once picturesque forests in southern Oregon on Sunday as the largest wildfire in the country reduced more forestland to ash. The Bootleg Fire just north of the California border grew to about 500 square miles over the weekend, an area about the size of Los Angeles. Erratic winds fed the blaze, creating dangerous conditions for firefighters.
What about elsewhere? Dozens of major blazes continue to burn across the West as dangerous fire weather looms in the coming days. Fire crews are making progress against the Beckwourth Fire in northeastern California. A growing wildfire south of Lake Tahoe jumped a highway, prompting more evacuation orders, the closure of the Pacific Crest Trail, and the cancellation of an extreme bike ride through the Sierra Nevada. The Elbow Creek Fire that started Thursday about 30 miles southeast of Walla Walla, Wash., prompted evacuations in several small, remote communities around the Grande Ronde River. It was 10 percent contained.
Dig deeper: Read Charissa Koh’s report in Compassion about a California program that gives prisoners who help fight the California wildfires a chance to make it a career.
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