All Weather News

Massive Wildfires Continue to Burn in the West

1 Aug 2021, 3:50 pm

Several wildfires continue to burn across the West, putting smoke into the atmosphere and flowing into many states. Air quality alerts are in effect from the Northwest into the Upper Midwest for poor air quality.

Fire Danger

High fire danger continues as drought continues to ravish the western United States. Monsoonal moisture will help to bring in rainfall, but not enough to make a meaningful difference for the largest fires. Thunderstorms could also produce more gusty wind and lightning, rather than rain, resulting in more fire starts.


If you see smoke, make sure you report it – it could be a new fire start.


Active Wildfires

Below are maps with active fires and the smoke they’re producing. The largest wildfires are in Oregon and California.

In Klamath County, Oregon the Bootleg Fire has grown to over 413,000 acres with only 56% containment. The Bootleg Fire is one of the largest fires in Oregon state history. Thankfully, it is nowhere near the acres burned  of the Long Draw Fire or Biscuit Fire, but it is the largest wildfire in the United States with little change in containment over the last couple of days.

Large fires continue to burn in northern California. With the monsoonal moisture in the area, additional humidity should help with firefighting efforts. However, the lightning from thunderstorms could spark new fires.


One of the newer fires is part of the Shasta-Trinity complex, all started by lightning on Thursday, July 29th. The McFarland fire has grown rapidly and prompted evacuations.


Thick smoke will continue to impact the western United States, closest to the fires.


Stagnant air in the Central U.S. has led to areas of poor air quality. If you are seeing smoke, then you are inhaling it. Be sure to check the air quality for your location and stay aware, especially if you have any respiratory conditions.


For more on this weather headline and other weather headlines in the Western U.S., tune into WeatherNation at :50 minutes past the hour.

About the author
Lucy is originally from the Boston area but has spent the last four years forecasting and living in Colorado! She stayed in the northeast for her education, graduating Summa Cum Laude from SUNY Oswego with a B.S. in Meteorology. Just a few days after graduation, she made the cross country move to Color... Load Moreado Springs, CO to begin her career at KKTV, the CBS affiliate. Lucy has covered historic blizzards, tornadoes, windstorms, the largest wildfires in Colorado state history and dust storms ... they truly "get it all" in Colorado! Lucy is excited to forecast on a national level and continue her passion of explaining the science behind the weather!