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Bootleg Fire’s extreme fire behavior created a tornado

The tornado broke out July 18 on the eastern perimeter of the huge wildfire.

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — The Bootleg Fire continues to rage in Southern Oregon. It is the largest wildfire in the country and the third-largest in Oregon’s history. As of Sunday, July 24, it was burning 401,601 acres and only 42% contained.

Its size has created a problem for the firefighters trying to put it out but has also created this phenomenon where it is creating its own weather. The weather and extreme fire behavior has caused firefighters to have to retreat from attacking the fire in the past.

RELATED: 'It's actually changing the weather': Bootleg Fire's 'extreme' behavior briefly forces firefighters to retreat

The latest fire-induced event was a tornado, which was confirmed to have occurred on July 18 on the eastern perimeter of the fire. A spokesperson for the Bootleg Fire said that the tornado was a rare weather event and that data surrounding the event will be saved and studied by meteorologists and fire researchers to help identify future events like this. It was caused by a mix of conditions including dry fuels, an unstable atmosphere and the fire itself.

A spokesperson for the Bootleg Fire said that the tornado was a rare weather event and that data surrounding the event will be saved and studied by meteorologists and fire researchers to help identify future events like this.

KGW Chief Meteorologist Matt Zaffino noted that Oregon's four largest wildfires on record have all occurred within the last two decades. He said part of the reason for that has to do with climate change.

"We need to adapt our fire strategies as climate change is contributing to bigger fires and a longer fire season," he said.

Zaffino also said some of our well-intended efforts to thwart wildfires could create more dry debris for fires to burn, creating longer-lasting and more intense fires than Oregon has seen in the past.

RELATED: Latest updates on wildfires burning in Oregon, Southern Washington