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AROUND OREGON: Ranchers find death, devastation in wake of Bootleg Fire

Michael Mastagni starts his day at Five Mile Ranch northeast of Beatty. (JOE SIESS/Herald and News)

KLAMATH FALLS - In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Michael and Katie Mastagni saddled up for another long day of tracking down their cattle over landscape scorched by the Bootleg Fire.

As the blaze approached, most ranchers in the area — including the Mastagnis of Five Mile Ranch — decided to release their livestock from their pastures and pens, with the hope that they could find safety from the inferno.

Many animals did survive, many others were not so lucky.

“We’ve been riding our tails off looking for them, there’s a lot of ground to cover out there,” said Katie. “Unfortunately we keep finding casualties."

Considering the sweeping natural beauty of the ranch — with . . .