Speed Reads

wildfires

Firefighters make progress against Oregon's massive Bootleg Fire

Nearly a month after it was sparked by a lightning strike, the Bootleg Fire in Southern Oregon — the largest wildfire burning in the U.S. — is now 74 percent contained, officials said Sunday.

The blaze, which has burned more than 646 square miles since it started on July 6, was 56 percent contained on Saturday. Fire spokesman Al Nash told reporters on Sunday that the results "reflects several good days of work on the ground where crews have been able to reinforce and build additional containment lines."

In Northern California's Plumas National Forest, the Dixie Fire was just 32 percent contained on Sunday. The fire has destroyed 42 homes and other buildings, and scorched nearly 383 square miles. The fire has been burning since July 13, and investigators are still working to determine what caused it. Fire officials warn that because of high winds, there could be flare ups, The Associated Press reports. 

The National Interagency Fire Center said there are 91 large fires now burning in the United States, most out west, with almost 22,000 firefighters on the scene. Scientists say because of climate change, the western U.S. is hotter and drier, making fires more destructive.