Perry man among firefighters battling Bootleg blaze in Oregon

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Eli Saemisch of Perry, far left, is among some 22,000 wildland firefighters and support personnel currently fighting 83 wildfires in 13 U.S. states.


Eli Saemisch, a 2016 graduate of Perry High School, describes wildland firefighting as his “dream job.”

A Perry man is fighting one of the nation’s deadliest wildfires, the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon.

Eli Saemisch of Perry, the son of Larry Saemisch and Ellie Bellon Saemisch, is among the small army of more than 2,200 firefighters battling the massive fire, which was started by lightning July 6 and has now consumed more than 400,000 acres.

Saemisch, a 2016 graduate of Perry High School, described wildland firefighting as his “dream job.”

Burning in the remote southern Oregon wilderness just north of the California border, the Bootleg Fire is now 40% contained, with firefighters working along a 40-mile east-to-west front, according to data from the InciWeb interagency website.

The Bootleg is one of at least eight large fires burning in Oregon and one of at least 83 burning across 13 states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

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