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Western wildfires: Crews make progress on huge Oregon blaze

Western Wildfires
Posted at 3:46 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 18:46:04-04

BLY, Ore. (AP) — As fires in California threaten homes, crews in Oregon are making progress against the nation's largest wildfire.

The Bootleg Fire has scorched an area half the size of Rhode Island.

It's 40% surrounded after burning some 70 homes.

In central Montana, federal officials say five firefighters were injured Thursday when a thunderstorm and swirling winds blew a lightning-caused wildfire back on them. No details were released on the extent of their injuries.

In California, blowing embers from the Tamarack Fire south of Lake Tahoe ignited a fast-moving spot fire, prompting a new evacuation on the California-Nevada line.

In the western Sierra, the Dixie Fire has ballooned to more than 223 square miles.

The Associated Press reported that as firefighters try to combat the fires, they are using new technology to keep the small fires from erupting into major flames.

The AP says the crews are using computers to help assess the risks before the fires start, which then projects their path.