Speed Reads


Firefighters make progress battling massive blazes in California and Oregon

Two major wildfires in California and Oregon are still burning, but amid an intense heat wave, firefighters are making steady progress as they work toward full containment.

The Beckwourth Complex fire in Northern California is the largest blaze burning in the state. So far, more than 91,200 acres have been scorched near the Nevada border. Fire officials said that as of Monday evening, the fire is 26 percent contained, an improvement from 8 percent on Sunday. The Beckwourth Complex fire was sparked by lightning that hit in the Plumas National Forest, and has destroyed 20 houses in the town of Doyle.

California Incident Management Operations Section Chief Jake Cagle said on Monday that the "extreme weather conditions we're dealing with" mean that the "probability of ignition" is 100 percent, should a match or ember make it to dry brush. "And it's still early," he added. "This is stuff that we expect in August, for the past five, six, seven years — now we're seeing it earlier in July."

The Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon's Fremont-Winema National Forest has burned an estimated 150,800 acres, NBC News reports, but after doubling in size, it only grew by around 5,000 acres on Monday morning. The cause of this fire has not yet been determined.