Scenes From America’s Largest Wildfire
PAISLEY, Ore. — At the eastern edge of the Bootleg Fire on Friday afternoon, there was a surreal sign of the life that once existed in a patch of Oregon forest now turned to ash, smoke and leafless burnt trees: the murmurs of cattle.
Cows wandered through the blackened landscape of the Fremont-Winema National Forest. None of the firefighters seemed to pay them any mind. The western front of the fire has been contained for the most part. But the blaze has grown in the east.
“We’re holding this fire line,” said Nikolas Coronado, who was part of a crew of eight firefighters from New Mexico attacking the flames and embers with axes and chain saws.
Mr. Coronado and his colleagues cleared small fires and prevented embers from getting swept up by the winds and starting new blazes. It was unglamorous, no-tech, anonymous, sweaty work. His face was covered in soot. His gloves were blackened.