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Monday, November 29, 2021

Oregon community helps evacuees of Bootleg Fire

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Oregon community helps evacuees of Bootleg Fire
Oregon community helps evacuees of Bootleg Fire

Volunteers in southern Oregon were working hard over the weekend to help some of roughly 2,000 residents displaced from their homes as a sprawling wildfire rages mostly unchecked.

This report produced by Chris Dignam.

The massive Bootleg Fire continued to rage in southern Oregon on Sunday, scorching nearly 300,000 acres, destroying dozens of homes, and leaving roughly 2,000 residents displaced in Klamath County.

On Friday, the Oregon Department of Forestry listed 5,000-plus homes as threatened, about 3,000 more than a day earlier.

Valerie O'dai, who helps head the charity Relief Angels, was in the small, tight-knit community of Bly to unload supplies including food and bottled water to the evacuees.

O'DAI: "I was up on the mountain yesterday and I was able to see some of the devastation and the heartache of people coming back to their homes where they've lived their whole lives.

People that have built it with literally their own hands and it's gone." Leda Hunter, who heads the Bly Community Action Team, said she expects to see more requests for supplies as the wildfire continues to grow.

HUNTER: "A lot of devastation is going on in our area.

So many people have come in to get supplies here that have completely lost everything.

We had a load this morning that came from Silverton, Oregon and we have a load in the morning coming from Portland.

I am in awe of the donations we've received." The Bootleg Fire, which erupted on July 6, is the biggest among dozens of wildfires tearing across the tinder-dry landscape of the Western United States, and forestry officials said it was Oregon's fifth largest blaze in more than a century.

The cause is still under investigation.

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