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Oregon wildfire scorches area 1.5 times the size of NYC

Washington, July 20 : Oregon's Bootleg wildfire, currently the largest active blaze in the US, has so far scorched an area 1.5 times the size of New York City, has destroyed at least 160 homes and 117 other buildings since it erupted on July 6, officials said.

As of Monday, the active wildfire, which has burned through more than 300,000 acres, was 25 per cent contained from 22 per cent the previous day, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to the fire officials, another 2,500 structures have been threatened by the massive blaze which has also triggered the expansion of mass evacuation orders.

Two evacuation centres have been set up for residents in several cities, including Klamath Falls and Redmond.

Meanwhile, the Log Fire is burning a couple of miles to the northeast of Bootleg Fire and has grown to more than 10,000 acres.

The two fires are likely to merge, Marcus Kauffman, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry, said in a statement on Monday.

Bootleg Fire is burning through high desert conifer forests parched after a long-running drought and above-average temperatures, according to a report by OregonLive.

Bootleg is one of more than 80 major fires raging across 13 US states, spurred by heatwaves and high winds, the BBC reported.

Wildfires have already scorched more than 1.2 million acres of the country this year, mainly in western states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

More than 4,000 blazes have been recorded by the organisation so far in 2021, which is almost double last year's total.

In California, five times as many acres have burned compared with the same period last year.