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Western wildfires: Crews make great progress on massive Oregon blaze

Officials said that the Bootleg Fire had destroyed an area of Rhode Island half its size and was now 40% surrounded. It had also burned some 70 homes, mostly cabins.

Minimum of 2,000 homes were evacuated during the fire, and another 5,000 were at risk.

According to fire officials, the fire's eastern edge continued to move towards Summer Lake. It jumped fire lines on Thursday. This prompted a local evacuation order to allow some parts of Lake County to be evacuated to "go now!"

Winds of up to 10 miles an hour (16 km per hour) could blow the timber into flames, but not at the speed seen last week when the wind-driven fire grew exponentially. Angela Goldman, fire information officer, said.

The fire was ignited by lightning and grew to over 4 miles (6 km) per day due to strong winds and dry conditions.

There was good news on the lower portion of the 624-square-mile (1,616-square-kilometer) blaze. Crews had secured containment lines, and crews on the lower southeastern corner were able gain a significant foothold. This allowed them to reduce nighttime patrols from what was a 24-hour run-and gun fight, Sarah Gracey, fire information officer, said.

She said, "That's a big step for us." It's difficult to work in pitch-black forests in the middle of the nights.

She said crews will be able rest and participate in dayside attacks.

Gracey stated that "we have received day after day red flag warnings (of severe fire danger)" and that there is no red flag warning today. High temperatures and low humidity remained a concern.

Gracey stated that the fire had also burned to an area previously blazed, which created gaps in the fuel, and reduced the spread of flames through timber, grass, and shrub.

California's Tamarack Fire, which erupted south of Lake Tahoe, had destroyed more than 78 miles (202 km) of timber and chaparral in the national forest. It was one of almost two dozen lightning strikes-sparked blazes that erupted on July 4.

Alpine County's fire has already destroyed at least 10 buildings. Officials expect firefighters to engage in active or extreme behavior due to Friday's afternoon winds and temperatures of up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius)

A new spot fire was ignited by embers of flames Thursday afternoon. It jumped north from Topaz Lake, California-Nevada Line. This prompted a new evacuation order for Topaz Lake Estates as well as the surrounding areas.

The fire was located less than one mile from Douglas County's estates, which are home to approximately 1,200 residents.

"Firefighters on ground and in the air continue to fight the growing spot under extremely difficult weather conditions and fuel condition," Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest stated in an update.

The new blaze had already burned almost 4 square miles (10 km2).

As the Dixie Fire continued its explosive eastward growth, new mandatory evacuation orders were issued in Plumas County west from the Nevada border.

Shannon Prather, incident commander, stated Thursday evening, "This fire outpaces us at moments."

Officials said that the fire had destroyed nearly 177 miles (458 kilometers) of land, destroyed eight buildings and threatened more than 1,500 others.

Wildfires are more difficult to combat due to extreme dryness and recent heat waves linked to climate change. The West has become warmer and dryer over the past 30 years due to climate change. Wildfires will be more common and more destructive in the future.

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