The Oregon National Guard deployed Wednesday morning to help in the battle against the large Bootleg Fire, which was 5% contained.
The National Guard will hope with road closures and traffic control for areas affected by the fire, according to Liz Merah, press secretary for Gov. Kate Brown.
“Welcome to our partners from the Oregon National Guard! More than 1,300 folks are currently supporting the #BootlegFire in Southern Oregon,” the South-Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership posted on its Facebook page.
Winds and lightning could make efforts to fight the Bootleg Fire difficult, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy predicted. And while temperatures are expected to be slightly lower than they have been, they will continue to be high, ranging from 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Conditions will remain dry, with smoke from the fires inundating the region,” Guy said, adding that air quality alerts are in place for that area.
Wildfires ravage land across the West
Between January 1 and Wednesday, more than 2.2 million acres have burned in 34,216 fires, exceeding last year’s figures for the same period, according to the fire center.
The Beckwourth Complex Fire, the state’s largest, has burned more than 95,000 acres so far and was 71% contained Wednesday.
“While wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape, the fire season in California and across the West is starting earlier and ending later each year. Climate change is considered a key driver of this trend,” Cal Fire said on its website. “The length of fire season is estimated to have increased by 75 days across the Sierras and seems to correspond with an increase in the extent of forest fires across the state.”
CNN’s Andy Rose, Chris Boyette, Joe Sutton and Stella Chan contributed to this report.