Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fire protection agencies seek public cooperation

Tom Fields                                                       
Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Rich Hoover
Office of State Fire Marshal

High Temperatures and Threat of Lightning Forecasted

As the heat returns to the region this week, fire managers are once again spreading the word of caution in efforts to prevent human-caused fires. Fire weather meteorologists are anticipating temperatures in the high 90’s and low 100’s midweek with a chance of lightning in southern and eastern Oregon arriving Friday. A Red Flag Warning is also in effect for much of the Willamette Valley and southern Oregon calling for hot and dry unstable conditions combined with low fuel moisture levels.

As fire season hits full stride, the chances of fires starting and spreading rapidly are of grave concern.

“We’re looking at a formidable fire weather forecast,” said Oregon State Forester Doug Decker. “The benefit of any recent moisture we’ve received has now evaporated, and we’re looking straight at record-breaking temperatures, extremely low humidities, and dry lightning: the trifecta of bad wildfire conditions.”

“This is the time for all Oregonians and visitors to be extremely aware of fire danger. One wrong move with power equipment, a cigarette, or any open flame can spell trouble.”

Homeowners and outdoor enthusiasts alike can contribute to the fire prevention campaign by reducing fire prone activities. Campfires are only allowed in designated campgrounds on public lands and prohibited entirely on all private lands under ODF’s protection. Outdoor debris burning also remains prohibited throughout much of the state. While logging activity is being curtailed under these extreme conditions, many large industrial landowners have also closed their gates to public access in efforts to reduce possible ignitions from off-road driving, target shooting, smoking and campfires; all of which are illegal during fire season.

Should a fire occur close to communities, State Fire Marshal Jim Walker is urging homeowners to be prepared in case an evacuation is necessary. “A serious wildfire can come up in a moment’s notice, so residents need to prepare now in case they have to leave their home, Walker said. “Make sure to put together a “Go Kit” and make a plan where your family will go and how you will stay in contact.” Find out more at .

To date, 621 fires have burned 3,393 acres on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry and forest protective associations. Of these, 429 have been caused by people. ODF protects about 16 million acres of private and public forest and grazing land from wildfire in Oregon.


Cable Crossing Fire - Size Update effective @ 10:10 a.m.


The Cable Creek Fire, located near Highway 138 East, mile post 23, is now estimated at 270 acres.  The increase in fire size IS NOT due to additional fire growth.  Smokey conditions near the fire area last night made it difficult for observation aircraft to get an accurate size.  This morning, smoke near the fire has dispersed enough to get a better look at the fire; however, this is still an estimated size and that it may be several days before firefighters get an accurate GPS reading.  In addition to a more accurate size-up, the observation aircraft on the Cable Creek Fire located one small spot fire this morning, less than 1/4 acre in size and located about 1/4 mile south of the main fire.  Air and ground resources are currently on the scene and are making good progress on it.



Oregon Department of Forestry Fire Update - Wednesday, July 29, 2015

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire update for Wednesday, July 29, 2015.

FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS                                                                                                                                                                                 
Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA):  The Cable Crossing Fire was reported on Thursday afternoon, July 28, burning east of Glide near Highway 138 East, MP 23. Spot fires were also detected across the highway and the North Umpqua River.  Firefighters made good progress overnight on the fire, with crews able to complete fire trail around about 90 percent of the fire last night despite fairly active fire behavior due to dry forest fuels and strong winds.  This morning, the fire is estimated as 10 percent contained, at approximately 150 acres. Today, firefighters will work to complete fire trail and install hose lays around the fire.  Firefighting resources assigned to the Cable Crossing Fire today include aviation resources (helicopters and fixed wing observation aircraft, as well as single engine air tankers available if needed) and ground resources including approximately 180 firefighters.

Safety for firefighters and the general public remains the number one priority.  Due to heavy fire traffic in the area, along with hazard trees which need to be removed near the fire along Highway 138 East, ODOT still has the highway closed near the fire area.  Fire crews are working with ODOT to minimize the hazards along the highway before it is reopened for non-fire traffic.  For more information about the Highway 138 East closure, visit

The latest information on this fire is available from DFPA at,, and/or

News media may call the Fire Information Duty Officer, who is currently Jeri Chase, 503-945-7201 (office) or 503-931-2721 (Cell), any time for fire information. If the duty officer is unable to take your call, you can expect a prompt return call. Media may also call the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters office, 503-945-7200, weekdays during business hours.
For information on wildfires on all jurisdictions in Oregon, view:
For information on Oregon Department of Forestry protected lands view:
This update provides information primarily about fires on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands involving fires 10 acres or larger. ODF provides fire protection primarily on private and state-owned forestland. The department also provides fire protection on some other lands, including U.S. Bureau of Land Management land in western Oregon.
The Oregon Department of Forestry works closely with neighbors and partner agencies to support the firefighting efforts on major fires outside its authority because sharing firefighting resources can help better protect all of Oregon’s forests.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

NW Oregon to raise fire precaution levels July 30

July 28, 2015      

Malcolm Hiatt
Oregon Dept. of Forestry

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will increase restrictions on industrial activity in the forests of northwestern Oregon July 30 in response to rising wildfire danger forecast to begin later this week. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) for the NW-1 Zone will go to Level 2, and Zones NW-2 and NW-3 will rise to Level 3 on that date.

These changes affect all lands protected by the Northwest Oregon Forest Protection District (ODF’s Astoria, Forest Grove and Tillamook districts), including all forestland within one-eighth of a mile of the districts. (A map showing the zones can be found on the ODF website,

Level 2: Partial Hootowl
The following activities are allowed only between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m.:
·         powersaw use except at loading sites
·         cable yarding
·         blasting
·         welding or cutting of metal

Level 3: Partial Shutdown
The following activities are prohibited except as indicated:
  • cable yarding - except that gravity operated logging systems employing non-motorized carriages may operate between 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. when all blocks and moving lines are suspended 10 feet above the ground, except the line between the carriage and the chokers.
  • powersaws - except powersaws may be used at loading sites and on tractor/skidder operations between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m.  
In addition, the following activities are allowed between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m.:
  • tractor/skidder, feller-buncher, forwarder, or shovel logging operations where tractors, skidders or other equipment with a blade capable of constructing fire line are immediately available to quickly reach and effectively attack a fire start; 
  • mechanized loading or hauling of any product or material;
  • blasting;
  • welding or cutting of metal;
  • any other spark-emitting operation not specifically mentioned.
Fire watch waiver is still in effect:
IFPL 1 = 1 hour
IFPL 2 = 2 hours
IFPL 3 = 3 hours
IFPL 4 = Shutdown

With NW-2 & NW-3 at IFPL 3, the non-industrial chainsaw waiver and the OHV (off-highway vehicle) waiver are not applicable. The OHV trails in the Browns Camp, Jordan Creek, Diamond Mill, and Trask and the trails in the BLM Nestucca Riding Area are CLOSED and will remain closed until further notice. Only the improved, maintained gravel roads in the Browns Camp, Jordan Creek, Diamond Mill, Trask and all other areas of the forest remain open for OHV use. 

More information can be found at:


Hot, dry weather coming - Be mindful of fire safety

The warm, dry conditions in Oregon this summer have produced more wildfires than average. The Oregon Department of Forestry reports 617 fires to date. The decadal average is just 432 fires. The good news is, this year’s fires have burned less forest – about 3,200 acres compared to the annual average of more than 16,000 acres. In 2015, firefighters have been able to stop most fires at relatively small size. But this coming weekend will be a test. Extremely hot, dry conditions are forecast. That increases the likelihood that  any new fires will spread rapidly. Lightning fires just happen. But human-caused fires can be prevented. Please help keep the numbers low by being mindful of fire safety in the forest.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Fire Update for Monday, July 27, 2015

Rye Fire 

Progress has been made on the lightning-caused Rye Fire located approximately 38 miles north of Enterprise in steep rocky terrain in Northern Wallowa County. The fire is currently 763 acres. The decrease in size is due to more accurate mapping by crews on the ground. The fire is now estimated at 80% contained and weather is cooler today. A fire camp has been established near Flora, Oregon to help support firefighters and limit the amount of traffic on area roads. The team is transitioning to a Type 4 Incident Commander in the local unit later today.

Fires on other lands

The Oak Canyon Fire (BLM) reported July 24 burning in grass and brush 9 miles SE of Dufur has the following resources assigned: two 20-person crews, 6 engines, 4 helicopters and 2 Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATS). The fire, estimated at 930 acres, is now 90 percent contained.


Fire statistics are for the current year and the average over the past 10 years for the 16 million acres of private and public forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

January 1, 2015 through July 27, 2015:
Lightning-caused fires: 188 fires burned 3,807 acres
Human-caused fires: 417 fires burned 777 acres
Total: 605 fires burned 4,584 acres

10-year average (January 1 through July 27):
Lightning-caused fires: 111 fires burned 13,673 acres
Human-caused fires: 313 fires burned 2,257 acres
Total: 350 fires burned 6,916 acres

Fire statistics can be accessed any time from the ODF website.

*When personnel are heavily engaged in firefighting activities, the latest information may not always appear in the statistics.

News media may contact the Fire Information Duty Officer, who is currently Cynthia Orlando, 503-945-7421 (office), 503-510-7972 (mobile), or any time for fire information.  If the duty officer is unable to take your call, you can expect a prompt return call.  

Media may also call the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters office, 503-945-7200, weekdays during business hours.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Fire Update for Saturday, July 25, 2015


Lulay Field Fire
The Lulay Field Fire was reported burning in grass yesterday on the North Cascade District. The fire reached 22 acres in size and has now been controlled.

Cause is under investigation.

Rye Fire
The lightning-caused Rye Fire near the Oregon / Washington border approximately 38 miles north of Enterprise in Northern Wallowa County, is estimated at 763 acres and was reported Thursday night. Extended attack occurred yesterday amidst erratic winds but the forward spread has been stopped. 125 personnel are assigned to this fire.

A local Type 3 incident management team supported by ODF and USFS personnel assumed control of the fire Thursday. Additionally, air resources including helicopters, single engine air tankers (SEATs) and heavy air tankers are being utilized to try and minimize the amount of acres burned and damage to natural and cultural resources.

Fires on other lands

ODF personnel assisted with fire suppression Friday on a 210-acre fire near Monmouth burning mostly on agricultural lands with some forested ground as well. The fire was approximately 1/4 mile from the West Oregon District Protection Boundary; several homes were evacuated. ODF's Dalles Unit assisted, providing a type 2 helicopter and other resources and coordinating with the Rural Fire District. Fire spread has been stopped and the helicopter released.

The 0451 RN Fire was reported burning yesterday 9 miles SE of Dufur, OR. in grass and brush near a high-use campground. The fire is approximately 400 acres and 0 % contained. Lead agency is B.L.M.


News media may contact the Fire Information Duty Officer, who is currently Cynthia Orlando, 503-945-7421 (office), 503-510-7972 (mobile), or any time for fire information. If the duty officer is unable to take your call, you can expect a prompt return call.

Media may also call the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters office, 503-945-7200, weekdays during business hours.

Comments and questions

The purpose of this blog is to provide breaking news about wildfire activity on the forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. We invite you to post questions or comments you have about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity. You are also welcome to contact us by email at:

Current wildfire info

The weather conditions setting up for this summer are ominous: continuing drought, meager winter snowpack, and above-average temperatures forecast through August.

What we do

Protection jurisdiction
The Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects 16 million acres of private and public forestlands from wildfire. This includes all private forestlands in Oregon as well as state- and local government-owned forests, along with 2.8 million acres of federal Bureau of Land Management lands in the western part of the state. There are about 30.4 million total acres of forest in Oregon.

Fire suppression policy
The department fights fire aggressively, seeking to put out most fires at 10 acres or smaller. This approach minimizes damage to the timber resource and fish and wildlife habitat, and protects lives and property. It also saves money. Suppression of large fires can run into millions of dollars.


About Me

My Photo
Oregon Dept. of Forestry's public information officers maintain this blog. During the wildfire season, we spend much of our time reporting on fires and firefighting to news media and the public.