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Oregon wildfire becomes biggest in the nation, burning over 200,000 acres

A wildfire raging in Oregon is currently the largest fire in the nation, burning more than 201,000 acres across the state, officials said Tuesday. The Bootleg Fire started in Klamath County on July 6, forcing officials to place more than 100 homes under mandatory evacuation orders.

As of Tuesday, the fire destroyed 54 structures and 21 homes, according to CBS affiliate KOIN. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.

Fire officials said the blaze will continue to spread in areas with above-average temperatures and will only be fueled by dry ground and high winds, KOIN reported. Residents living in areas with the highest evacuation levels face citations or arrest, police said.

As of Tuesday night, there were three other fires across the state: The Jack Fire in Douglas County, the Grandview Fire near Oregon's Crooked River National Grassland and the Bruler Fire near Detroit. The Jack Fire has grown to more than 12,500 acres and is 15% contained. Meanwhile, the Grandview Fire has burned over 5,700 acres and is 5% contained, KOIN reported. The Bruler Fire, which was detected Monday, is estimated to be about 60 acres, the U.S. Forest Service said. It is not currently a threat to any structures or communities, but it is 0% contained, the agency said. 

"This fire does have the potential to spread and the forest is very dry," Sweet Home District Ranger and agency administrator Nikki Swanson said in a news release. "The safety of the public and the firefighters is our first priority. We're in the process of closing several roads and trails to ensure firefighters can work efficiently and that the public remains safe. This will be managed as a full suppression fire."

Oregon Wildfires
A firefighting tanker drops retardant drop over the Grandview Fire near Sisters, Oregon, on July 11, 2021. Oregon Department of Forestry via AP

In California, The Beckwourth Complex fire, a combination of two fires in Plumas National Forest, has burned more than 90,000 acres as of Tuesday night. This fire season is sparking memories of 2020, the worst year ever for California wildfires. This year, twice as many acres have already burned.

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