“Emotionally and physically it is taking a toll,” some firefighters feeling drained while battling Bootleg Fire

KLAMATH, Co. – The Bootleg Fire reaching 5% containment –and growing 10,000 acres since Tuesday. As the community tries to heal, so do the firefighters who are working endlessly to fight the flames. The week-long fire has both firefighters and evacuees drained. But with some new teams coming on-scene and helping, there’s hope.

The Bootleg Fire still growing within Klamath and Lake County, but fire teams are taking any win they can.

“The fire is really doing what it wants to do,” said Gert Zoutendijk, Public Information Officer for Bootlang Fire.

The Bootleg Fire has gone on for more than a week. And firefighters are feeling the strain.

“Emotionally and physically it is taking a toll and it’s draining,” said Zoutendijk.

This week, fire crews met some special friends. Amber and Probe are therapy dogs they’re trying to help these heroes any way they can.

“Even if it’s just for a moment firefighters are able to take their mind off of what they’re doing and being tired. It’s worth it and it’s what really works,” said Zoutendijk.

While firefighters appreciate the community’s generosity they can’t personally accept any donations. They suggest donating food and supplies to evacuees.

Fire crews on the ground tell me while last night was a win, Wednesday the fire is again spreading quickly. As more fires in the area pop up, officials told NBC5 News the fire is far from over.

NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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