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After Bootleg Fire, town finds ‘nothing left’

"There was nothing left."

The Bootleg Fire, one of more than 80 active wildfires that have charred about 1.3 million acres in recent weeks, has ravaged the southern Oregon community of Sycan Estates, leaving behind a trail of ash-covered debris.

Residents like Gage Clark, who evacuated ahead of the wildfire, returned to their community only to find their homes and business gone, their possessions destroyed.

"I thought I still had my saw mill shop and possibly this shop so I came back thinking that I still had something to come home to and when I got here I was actually kind of gut shot. It was knots in the stomach. There was nothing left."

Local news reports said the fire had decimated 112 homes and 169 outbuildings.

The Bootleg Fire is Oregon’s third largest wildfire on records dating back to 1900.

Located about 250 miles south of Portland, the fire had ripped through more than 400,000 acres of drought-parched brush and timber as of Friday, destroying at least 67 homes near the California border.

At its peak, an estimated 2,000 people were displaced by evacuations.

"We just got to try to band together as a community and rebuild and get people's lives back in order. It'll never be back to what it was, of course, but we got to try to do what we can. Because we all still own our property and a lot of people don't have anywhere else to go."

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