Western wildfires calm down in cool weather, but losses grow

0
Western Wildfire on July 20, 2021 (Photo: RMG/CBS News)

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) — Cooler weather is helping calm two gigantic wildfires in the U.S. West, but a tally of property losses mounted Tuesday in a tiny California community savaged by flames last weekend and in a remote area of Oregon.

Teams tallying the damage from the Dixie Fire in Northern California have so far counted 36 structures destroyed and seven damaged in Indian Falls.

- Advertisement -

In Oregon, better weather is helping the fight against the Bootleg Fire, where about 160 homes are destroyed.

Scientists say the nation’s largest blaze generated its own “fire tornado,” with winds up to 111 mph during the worst of the firefight in Oregon last week.

The governors of California and Nevada are calling for increased federal assistance as they tour an area blackened by one of several massive wildfires that have destroyed dozens of homes.

Wednesday’s tour of the Tamarack Fire along the state line comes as numerous wildfires char land and homes in a dozen states.

Cooler weather and even some rain has helped in the fight against some of the largest, including the Bootleg Fire in Oregon that has burned more than 160 homes. But fire officials say hotter, drier weather is returning and could pose a threat of renewed fire ferocity.

An injured bear cub rescued after it suffered burns is being nursed back to health at a wildlife center at Lake Tahoe.

Officials at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care have named the young male bear “Tamarack” after the fire that burned through the Sierra south of the lake and into Nevada.

The center’s animal care director says the cub is about 6 months old and was walking on his elbows because of burns on his paws.

A veterinarian wrapped his paws and gave him painkillers.

Officials said they’re working to get a skin treatment that will speed healing.

The center will likely keep the bear through winter and release him in the spring.