KLAMATH FALLS, OR (KPTV) – The Bootleg Fire has burned more than 395,000 acres in southern Oregon, and it's an all hands on deck situation with resources not only coming to help fight the flames from across the state but also the country. The fire is now 38% contained.
Garrett Souza lives in Chiloquin and is also a firefighter who said the destruction they're seeing is devastating.
"It's the accumulative fatigue that really, I think, wears a person out over time. And then there's very much emotional attachment. One of my brothers - he's my brother in fire, but he's my beyond that," Souza said. "We grew up together. We went to school together. His ranch is right down the road, the ranch and he's lost all his cows. Lost so much stuff in that. That's hard. That's the hard part."
Red Cross volunteers are also there to help from across the country.
"We're really trying to help in any way we can help people get a little sense of normalcy and get through a really tough time here in the state," Dan Halyburton of Texas said.
Halyburton said volunteers are now passing out fire kits to people near Blye who have previously evacuated. The kits include fire screens so people can sift through the remains of what the fire left behind.
"It's a pan that's made out of two by fours with a screen across the bottom," he said. "We also give them a large tub that all that comes in, and the tub allows them- if they do find things, they want to keep-a place to store those and again other clean-up supplies, water things that they need to get through the day."
This isn't Halyburton's first time in Oregon. He was here in 2020 when wildfires tore through the state.
"To be able to come and help people in many cases at a time their worst day or the worst time in their life and so to be part of a team that leaves from wherever they live and comes out here-- we got people represented from 16 states that are here in Oregon helping the people out and doing what we can to help people get back to a little bit of normal," he said.
Anyone interested in helping the Red Cross' efforts, click here.