Photos show destroyed homes and vehicles after the Bootleg Fire burned through Bly, Oregon, earlier this week. The fire is the fourth largest in the state’s history, Reuters reported, and is currently the largest fire burning in the country.
The Bootleg Fire had burned nearly 624 square miles and was 38% contained as of Thursday afternoon (local time), according to InciWeb. USA Today reported on Wednesday that the fire had set aflame at least 70 homes and more than 100 outbuildings.
The fire is located in the Fremont-Winema National Forest and merged with a smaller blaze Tuesday. The fire forced the evacuation of at least 2,000 homes and is threatening 5,000 others.
Currently, 77 large fires are burning a total of more than 2,262 square miles in the West, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The fires are fueled by an ongoing drought in the region. Currently, more than 85% of the West is under severe drought conditions, or in a worse category of drought, the U.S. Drought Monitor reports.
SF Gate reported that the blaze, which was located along the Nevada state line in Plumas National Forest near Beckwourth, California, reached nearly three times the size of San Francisco.
The western wildfires sent a smoky haze across the U.S. and into the eastern states earlier this week. KVIA reported that the smoke is contributing to New York City’s worst air quality in 15 years.
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