(FiveNation.com)- The gigantic Bootleg Fire burning in Oregon has reportedly grown out of control. Officials say that the fire is still only 25% under control.
The fire is believed to have been started by a lightning strike in early July, and since then, the fire has grown so huge that the ash has traveled across the United States, with smoke visible in the skies of New York. So far it has covered an area of almost 500 square miles, which is roughly the size of Los Angeles. 100 buildings and around 70 homes have been destroyed in the blaze so far, and at least 2,000 homes have been evacuated. A further 5,000 homes are reportedly threatened by the fire.
Oregon’s Bootleg Fire is being pushed by strong winds coming from the south-west, with the fire now spreading to the north and the east.
Yahoo News reported that the fire is “out of control,” with the “fire clouds” seen over 100 miles away throwing embers onto fire crews hoping to stop it from expanding. A number of “slop fires,” which are fires that start burning beyond the control line, have also been recorded as embers jump over fire lines.
Commander Joe Hessel told the press that officials are running firefighting operations 24 hours a day and that they don’t expect it to be over any time soon. He said that the fire is a “real challenge” and that firefighters will be fighting a “sustained battle for the foreseeable future.”
Oregon isn’t the only state suffering from wildfires, either. California, which sees these kinds of fires virtually every year these days, is suffering wildfires caused by the hot and dry weather. But it still doesn’t even come close to the size of the Bootleg Fire in Oregon, which is the largest wildfire currently burning in the United States.
The Associated Press published an interactive map that shows the progress of various wildfires currently burning, which you can access here.