- Title: Oregon wildfire prompts growing number of evacuations amid heatwave
- Date: 13th July 2021
- Summary: KLAMATH COUNTY, OREGON, UNITED STATES (JULY 12, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EVACUEES IN A RED CROSS EVACUATION CENTER DURING NIGHT, AFTER A LEVEL-3 EVACUATION, MEANING THEY HAD TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES "IMMEDIATELY" BECAUSE THE DANGER FROM THE SO-CALLED BOOTLEG FIRE WAS CURRENT OR IMMINENT (4 SHOTS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) SARAH KOSE, EVACUEE, SAYING: "We're sitting there, watching the smoke. We've seen the flames coming. We don't know how far the flames were. But you know you could see them. It was hungry. It was mean. It was ugly. And it was right there where we could watch it." EVACUATION CENTER HALLWAY WITH AN INFORMATION BOARD CLOSE UP OF THE FIRE INFORMATION BOARD (SOUNDBITE) (English) SARAH KOSE, EVACUEE, SAYING: "This is my first wildfire and I'm going to tell you, it is scary. It's enough to make you cry. And it's enough to make you sick to your stomach. Because you don't know if you're going to be the one that loses your house, or you sit there and you watch your neighbor lose their house, and there's nothing you can do about it." (SOUNDBITE) (English) TIM McCARLEY, EVACUEE, STANDING NEXT TO TWO OTHER EVACUEES AND GETTING A LITTLE EMOTIONAL WHILE SAYING: "You know before you hear reports of this and these people there and you go oh, poor people, oh poor people, oh that's horrible. But when you're with them, experiencing the same thing and hearing stories, it gives you a different outlook on life. It gives you a different outlook on compassion." BRIEF TIME-LAPSE OF THE BILLOWING SMOKE FROM THE FIRE OVER TREETOPS SMOKE FROM THE FIRE IN THE BACKGROUND AS CARS PASS A HIGHWAY ELECTRONIC HIGHWAY WARNING SIGN THAT READS "USE CAUTION, HEAVY SMOKE AHEAD" PEOPLE NEXT TO A CAMPER AT THE EVACUATION CENTER WITH THE BILLOWING SMOKE IN THE HILLS TIGHTER SHOT OF CAMPER WITH SMOKE BEHIND THE HILLS (SOUNDBITE) (English) TIM McCARLEY, EVACUEE, STANDING NEXT TO A WOMAN AND POINTING TO A MAP WHILE SAYING: "The sheriff's department showed up. The Oregon state trooper showed up. He said 'it's coming, it's moving at 3-5 miles an hour (about 5-8 kilometers). (WOMAN NEXT TO HIM POINTS TO MAP AND SAYS 'And we could see it right at this point') We could see it right here (POINTS TO MAP). And then the wind shifted and cranked up to 40-45 miles, it was creating its own weather, 45 miles an hour (sic). The sheriff pulled up, sparks and embers were coming down. Says 'you better get the hell -- if you don't leave, you're dead.'" VARIOUS OF OFFICER TALKING TO A DRIVER ALONG HIGHWAY WIDE OF THE COUNTY LANDSCAPE WITH HAZY SMOKE CLOSE UP OF 'ROAD CLOSED' TRAFFIC SIGN WIDE OF THE ROAD CLOSED SIGN ON HIGHWAY EVACUEE TIM McCARLEY LISTENING TO OTHERS AND STANDING NEXT TO A RED CROSS WORKER AT THE CENTER (SOUNDBITE) (English) DALE KUNCE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF AMERICAN RED CROSS CASCADES REGION, SAYING: "So what we're seeing right now is a compounding of impacts, right? So there was the recent heatwave that Oregon experienced that was kind of a once-in-a-generation never-before-seen and then we're also dealing with the compounding drought. And that really just dries things out. And unfortunately, this fire, the Bootleg Fire, got going and without really anything to stand in its way it's just been rampaging with big high winds and really high temperatures, and it's just been moving and moving and moving." WIDE OF SMOKE FROM THE FIRE IN THE SKY (SOUNDBITE) (English) DALE KUNCE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF AMERICAN RED CROSS CASCADES REGION, SAYING: "So this is not the first wildfire of the season. It certainly won't be the last. It may be the biggest at the end of it, but it won't be the last that impacts people. And what we've seen as the Red Cross is really this change from one big event a year or one big event every five years or ten years, to now we're seeing chronic events." VARIOUS OF HIGHWAYS
- Embargoed: 27th July 2021 15:23
- Location: KLAMATH COUNTY, OREGON, UNITED STATES
- City: KLAMATH COUNTY, OREGON, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,United States,Wildfires/Forest Fires
- Reuters ID: LVA001ELOD8HZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Hundreds of residents in the Klamath Falls area of south-central Oregon were under mandatory evacuation orders on Monday (July 12), and in an unusual step, county officials said residents who defy them could face citations or arrest.
Residents who fled the so-called Bootleg Fire in and around the Fremont-Winema National Forest recounted a harrowing escape from the blaze after being told to evacuate their homes because of imminent danger from the flames.
"It was hungry. It was mean. It was ugly," resident Sarah Kose told Reuters at a Red Cross evacuation center in Klamath County. "This is my first wildfire and I'm going to tell you, it is scary," she said.
Evacuee Tim Mccarley told Reuters the sheriffs' department and state troopers showed up at his home just as "sparks and embers were coming down" and told his family "if you don't leave, you're dead."
The Bootleg Fire has burned through more than 153,000 acres (nearly 240 square miles) and crews have made little progress containing the blaze.
The flames were burning along a high voltage power corridor connecting Oregon's power grid with California's, worrying officials in both states that electricity could be knocked out to thousands of homes and businesses.
The Bootleg Fire is just one of a number of major wildfires burning nearly unchecked in drought-stricken Oregon as the U.S. West endured a fourth day of scorching heat Monday.
Temperatures again threatened to shatter records and power grids strained under the pressure.
The unseasonable heatwave, triggered by a lingering high-pressure system, is already the third for the region this year, an anomaly that some experts have attributed to climate change.
"What we've seen as the Red Cross is really this change from one big event a year or one big event every five years or ten years, to now we're seeing chronic events," Dale Kunce, who heads the Red Cross Cascades Region in Oregon, told Reuters.
(Production: Deborah Bloom / Mathieu Rolland / Mana Rabiee)
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