91 wildfires at the moment are burning within the US, with Oregon’s Bootleg Fireplace rising to over 400,000 acres
According to the NIFC, more than 1.8 million acres have burned since these fires began. More than 22,300 fire fighters and emergency teams are involved in fighting the fires.
That year, 37,803 fires burned more than 3 million acres in the United States, according to the NIFC. In the same period in 2020, 32,059 fires burned a total of 2.1 million hectares.
“As hot temperatures and very dry vegetation persist, it is important to stay informed of current and predicted environmental conditions,” said NIFC in its Sunday update. “Check for fire restrictions and closings before heading out to enjoy your public land. Now more than ever we need your help to prevent forest fires. “
Idaho has the most major fires at 23. However, Oregon has the most acres burned: 554,587 out of 11 fires. The bootleg fire near the California border alone was responsible for burning 413,734 acres.
According to InciWeb, the conglomerate for fire intelligence in the United States, the bootleg fire currently has a 74% containment and is unlikely to be fully contained until October 1. The Dixie Fire in California reached a size of 244,888 acres and is 32% in size. according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
A total of 67 buildings were destroyed in the Dixie Fire and the Butte Meadows, Jonesville and Lake Philbrook areas remain under evacuation orders. No deaths were reported at this point.
The Tamarack Fire, which burns south of Lake Tahoe, is now 84% contained, according to InciWeb. It started on July 4th due to a lightning strike, and most of the evacuation orders for the area have since been overturned.
Forest fires don’t just affect mainland America. The fire in Mana Road on the north side of Hawaii’s Big Island resulted in the evacuation of more than 7,000 people, according to Cyrus Johnasen, director of communications for the County of Hawaii. The fire has burned more than 40,000 acres since it broke out on Friday.
So far, two houses have been destroyed, Johnasen told CNN on Sunday by phone.
Hopefully rain will bring some relief to the burnt western United States
The monsoon season has arrived in the west and brings with it mudslides, flash floods and dust storms.
The monsoon moisture seeping into the area could potentially extinguish some fires and clear the dry vegetation and soil, but it could also create more dangerous conditions.
“Lightning and high fire hazards are likely to lead to new outbreaks of fires. Gusty thunderstorms could help spread the fire. Despite rain, initial attack resources could be overwhelmed and hangover fires are possible,” said the National Weather Service office in Medford, Oregon.
Red flag warnings are in place over the weekend in central and eastern Oregon, where the potential for thunderstorms has raised concerns about further outbreaks of fires.
With the Bootleg Fire already blistering over 400,000 acres of the Oregon Hills, lightning and high winds from monsoon thunderstorms could spark further fires, further draining resources.
The rain could help control some fires in the area. What remains, however, is the scorched earth, which is prone to runoff and flash floods.
Forest fire death toll in Turkey rises to 8
The United States is not the only country with major forest fires. For the second time in a row, more than 1,100 people were evacuated from the tourist hotspot Bodrum by sea to escape the forest fires in Turkey along the Mediterranean coast.
“We helped evacuate 1,140 people on 12 boats,” Orhan Dinc, president of the Bodrum Maritime Chamber, told CNN on Sunday. “We also evacuated by boat yesterday, but I’ve never seen anything like it in this region. This is the first time.”
Dinc said that while the roads remain open and land evacuations continue, sea evacuations help keep the roads open to fire trucks and ambulances.
The death toll in forest fires in Turkey along the Mediterranean coast rose to at least eight people on Sunday, according to the state agency Anadolu.
One of the youngest victims is a Turkish-German couple who were found in a house.
According to the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, 111 fires have broken out across the country since July 28. Six fires are still burning in three different cities, the ministry said.
CNN’s Aya Elamroussi, Chuck Johnston, Karen Smith, Isil Sariyuce, Sharif Paget, Larry Register, Gul Tuysuz, Hannah Gard and Haley Brink contributed to this report.