Unpredictable winds, fire clouds that spawn lightning, and flames that leap over firebreaks are confounding efforts to fight the blaze, which is sweeping through southern Oregon. The Bootleg Fire in Southern Oregon, spurred by months of drought and last month’s blistering heat wave, is the largest wildfire so far this year in the United States, having already burned more than 340,000 acres, or 530 square miles, of forest and grasslands. And at a time when climate change is causing wildfires to be larger and more intense, it’s also one of the most extreme, so big and hot that it’s affecting winds and otherwise disrupting the atmosphere.
By Henry Fountain. New York Times. July 19, 2021.