Current situation

Check with your local district or forest protection association for restrictions or use ODF's fire restrictions and closures webpage for the latest details at https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Days Coffee Fire near Tiller grows to 140 acres




The Days Coffee Fire, located 6 miles northwest of Tiller, is now estimated to be 140 acres in size. Strong, gusty winds combined with steep slopes and limited access challenged firefighters most of the night as active fire behavior and multiple spot fires were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation. 


All known spot fires were lined overnight with the exception of an estimated five-acre spot fire, located about a half-mile southeast of the main fire, which crews are currently working on. 

Lightning is believed to have caused several more fires within areas protected by the Douglas Forest Protective Association yesterday. Similar weather conditions are forecast for today with a chance of thunderstorms throughout the area.  If thunderstorms do develop, strong winds and downdrafts could challenge firefighters throughout the day.


Today, 110 firefighters are assigned to the Days Coffee Fire, including: five 20 person crews, two tenders, one engine, one dozer, and two helicopters.  Additional resources have been ordered to assist with the fire.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

1620 Rd Fire, nearby spot fire near Parkdale reach 85 acres


The 1620 Road Fire was reported Monday morning June 24th burning in brush, slash and young timber on private land approximately four miles west of Parkdale, Oregon.  Throughout Monday, resources from Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District were assisted by firefighters from Parkdale Fire Department, USFS Mt. Hood National Forest, USFS Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, and Washington Department of Natural Resources.  Jackpots of slash and increasing afternoon winds challenged firefighters yesterday.  Fire behavior included creeping, spotting and single tree torching.
A spot fire was detected Monday afternoon burning in a draw to the east of the main fire.  The spot fire was burning in dense vegetation and less accessible terrain, quickly growing in size.  Currently the combined acreage for the two fires is estimated at 85 acres. The fires are 35% lined and 10% contained.   No structures are threatened or have been destroyed, and there have been no firefighter injuries reported.
Overnight firefighters worked to complete line around the original fire perimeter using dozers and existing roads. Handline construction started around the larger spotfire, and this work will continue on Tuesday.   A Type 3 organization was in-briefed Tuesday morning and will take command of the fire to provide additional support to firefighters and resources.  This organization will be used to manage the additional resources which have been ordered for suppression efforts.  Overnight two 20 person crews, two five person crews, an engine, a dozer, an excavator and additional overhead staffed the fire.  Today the fire will be staffed by six 20 person crews, five engines, three tenders, two dozers, an excavator and overhead to manage the resources. Aerial resources available to support ground operations today include two fireboss scooper planes, two heavy air tankers, a Type 2 helicopter, and a Type 1 helicopter.   
Firefighter and public safety are the priority for the incident.  Today’s objectives for firefighters is to hold and secure existing firelines along the perimeter of the fire and begin mop-up on the secured lines.  Direct line construction will be used where possible to minimize acres burned and damage to natural resources. 
The cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time.
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Monday, June 24, 2019

ODF partnering with utilities to reduce wildfire risk

The Oregon Department of Forestry shared its web-based Oregon Wildfire Risk Explorer tool at a Public Utilities Commission workshop this week in an effort to reduce the number of wildfires started by power lines. At the PUC workshop, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and Pacific Power shared measures these utility companies are taking to prevent ignitions or respond to fires quickly.

With last year’s Camp Fire caused by a power line – taking 86 lives and devastating the town of Paradise, Calif. – this workshop served as a starting point for addressing this issue in Oregon. ODF reports an average of 47 fires are caused by power lines each year on lands protected by the agency. While most of these fires are caught at 10 acres or less, remotely located power lines can sometimes lead to large fires due to lack of access. The 2018 Ramsey Canyon Fire, started from a downed power line in Jackson County, burned nearly 2,000 acres and cost $6.6 million to put out.

Both PG&E and Pacific Power are taking steps to reduce vegetation in and around power lines and poles, increase the number of facility inspections, and improve equipment resiliency and fire proofing. The utilities are also establishing a new fire prevention measure called a Public Safety Power Shutoff.  Proactively shutting off power during extreme and dangerous weather conditions is a last-resort measure toward keeping people and communities in high-risk areas safe.

“Preventing fires started by power lines is a tough nut to crack,” ODF Fire Prevention Coordinator Tom Fields said. “Correcting human behavior such as putting out a campfire is much different than preventing fires started by equipment or infrastructure. Monitoring thousands of miles of energized power lines is a monumental task, especially because many of these lines are in remote locations. We applaud these utilities for their efforts in mitigation and preventative procedures during times of elevated fire danger.”

Oregon Wildfire Risk Explorer is an online tool for homeowners, community leaders and professional planners to create natural hazard mitigation plans based on fire risk for a given area. The program takes into consideration fire history, vegetation, topography, weather, and even infrastructure. Utility companies will be able to match power line corridors with areas of fire risk to develop mitigation and response plans.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

More of Oregon enters fire season this week


Conditions are warming up, which means fuels are drying out.

With drier, hotter weather moving through Oregon, more ODF-protected lands will be entering fire season this week. ODF's website has a map where you can check fire restrictions in your area.

On Monday, June 10, ODF's Central Oregon and Klamath-Lake Districts along with Walker Range Fire Protection Association enter fire season, with Douglas Fire Protection Association following on Tuesday, June 11. ODF's Southwest Oregon District entered fire season on June 1. All told, these declarations cover state-protected lands in these counties:
  • Crook
  • Douglas
  • Deschutes
  • Grant
  • Harney
  • Hood River
  • Jackson
  • Jefferson
  • Klamath
  • Lake
  • Morrow
  • Wasco
  • Wheeler
Southwest Oregon District (Jackson and Josephine counties) is in regulated use, which adds additional restrictions in the interest of fire prevention. The Klamath River corridor in Klamath-Lake District will also be in regulated use.

To learn fire restrictions for a particular area, visit the ODF Fire Restrictions page, with interactive maps for public and industrial uses. 

We have already seen increased fire activity across the state. Even if your area is not in fire season, check the conditions, not the calendar: Fires can spread anytime of year. Please consider factors such as temperature, wind, humidity and flammable materials before burning or undertaking other activities that can cause or spread a fire.

Your local ODF office can answer questions about current fire restrictions in your area. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Wildfire Awareness Month Continues - Escaped Debris Burning Leads Human-Caused Wildfires

Local fire agencies and prevention organizations urge the public to consider alternatives to burning yard debris, as unseasonably warm and dry conditions are already causing fires across the state.

While fire season has yet to be declared on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, 126 fires have already burned nearly 1,000 acres in 2019. Warm and dry conditions during May have led to more than 70 fires, catching many people off guard and prompting county-wide burn bans in several areas across the state.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month and the ideal time to reduce excess vegetation around your home that could pose a wildfire threat. However, as you begin spring clean-up, the Oregon Department of Forestry, Keep Oregon Green and the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal urge you to consider alternatives to burning.

“The window to burn safely has closed,” says ODF Fire Prevention Coordinator Tom Fields. “If chipping or recycling is not an option, then it’s best to hold off until after fire season next fall.” Fields says delaying your burn plans will give the debris additional time to cure and still burn efficiently during moderate conditions. Waiting will also prevent piles burned this spring from coming back to life during the heat of the summer, as they can retain heat for several weeks and rekindle under warm, windy conditions.

If burning now is the only option to dispose of woody material, fire officials urge homeowners to follow safe burning practices. A burn pile is less likely to escape control by following some simple safety tips:
  • Call before you burn - Burning regulations are not the same in all areas and can vary with the weather and fuel conditions. If you’re planning to burn, check with your local Oregon Department of Forestry district, fire protective association or air protection authority to learn if there are any current burning restrictions or regulations, and whether a permit is required.
  • Know the weather forecast - Never burn on dry or windy days. These conditions make it easy for open burning to spread out of control.
  • Clear a 10-foot radius around your pile - also make sure there are no tree branches or power lines above.
  • Keep your burn pile small - A large burn may cast hot embers long distances. Small piles, 4x4 feet in dimension, are recommended. Add debris in small amounts as existing material is consumed.
  • Always have water and fire tools on site - When burning, have a charged water hose, bucket of water, and shovel and dirt nearby to extinguish the fire. Drown the pile with water, stir the coals, and drown again, repeating until the fire is DEAD out.
  • Stay with the fire until it is completely out - Monitoring a debris burn continually from start to finish until dead out is required by state law, to ensure that any escaped sparks or embers can be extinguished quickly. Go back and recheck old burn piles, as they can retain heat for several weeks and rekindle when the weather warms and wind begins to blow.
  • NEVER use gasoline or other accelerants (flammable or combustible liquids) to start or increase your open fire. Every year, 55-60 percent of all burns treated at the Oregon Burn Center in Portland are the result of backyard debris burning.
  • Burn ONLY yard debris - State regulations prohibit the open burning of any material that creates dense smoke or noxious odors.
  • Escaped debris burns are costly – State law requires the proper clearing, building, attending and extinguishing of open fires any time of year. Citations can amount to as much as $2,000 and, if your debris burn spreads out of control, you will be responsible for the cost of fire suppression and very likely the damage to neighboring properties. This can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars.
More tips on wildfire prevention, including campfire safety, motorized equipment use, and fire-resistant landscaping can be found on the Keep Oregon Green site, www.keeporegongreen.org/.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Total burn ban in effect for Columbia County includes recreational fires

Press Release – Recreational Fires
From the Columbia County Fire Defense Board
Effective May 9, 2019 at 12:01 am

A total burn ban has been implemented including recreational fires in all Columbia County Fire Protection Districts including Columbia River Fire & Rescue, Clatskanie Fire District, Mist-Birkenfeld Fire District, Oregon Department of Forestry, Scappoose Fire District and Vernonia Rural Fire Protection District. 

The Columbia County Fire Defense Board which is made up of fire chiefs from these districts has determined that a dramatic increase in the outdoor fire hazard has occurred. The burn ban includes all recreational and debris burning until significant weather changes the fire hazard. Campfires, fire pits, burn barrels, burn piles, and bon fires are not allowed! For additional information regarding fire season 2019 please visit: https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Wildfire knows no season and a list of current county burn bans

Current conditions are looking and feeling more like mid-fire season than early May. Here at ODF, we aren’t letting the calendar distract us from doing our part to prevent and prepare to respond to wildfires – and we are asking Oregonians to join us.

“We are already seeing increased fire activity across the state,” says Doug Grafe, ODF’s Chief of Fire Protection. “With warm and dry weather forecasted to continue through the weekend, and already dry fuels on the landscape, all ODF employees are in a state of readiness. We ask the public to join us as we work together to prevent wildfires and protect Oregon’s forests.”

Oregonians know to enjoy warm spring weather when given the chance – hiking, camping, boating, biking – the options for outdoor adventure in our beautiful state are endless! For others, this is the ideal time for outdoor spring cleaning.
Whether working or playing – fire prevention is up to each of us! 

A few tips to keep in mind:
• Don't burn on windy days. 

• Make sure campfires or debris burns are dead out before you walk away. 
• Keep vehicles on roads - don't idle on dry grass.

For more info to help you make #firesafe choices now and all year long, check out these helpful resources:
ODF's Fire Prevention website https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/pages/FirePrevention.aspx Keep Oregon Green https://keeporegongreen.org/


#GoTeam #WildfireAwarenessMonth

The following counties have issued burn bans: Washington, Yamhill, Polk, Marion, Benton, Lane, Linn and Jackson. Burn Ban or Not, best to refrain from any burning until conditions improve. #NoBurning #KeepOregonGreen #FirePrevention #WAM2019.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

ODF Strike Teams Head Home from the Camp Fire


Strike teams from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA) were released today by Cal Fire from their assignment on the Camp Fire in Butte County, Calif. Heavy rains forecasted for much of the area are expected to improve conditions and provide a much-needed reprieve for wildfire suppression throughout the region.
Reported as the deadliest wildfire in a century, the Camp Fire is estimated at 151,373 acres and 70 percent contained, with at least 79 civilian fatalities reported and over 13,000 structures destroyed. Tasks completed by ODF and DFPA resources included fire line construction and improvements,

Dozer corralling a spot fire across the fire line.

burning operations to assisting in recovery efforts in the City of Paradise and surrounding communities. The teams worked alongside Cal Fire and California Office of Emergency Management as well as numerous fellow firefighting agencies.

The 28 agency and association personnel head home to their families today just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Our crews came down readily willing to serve Cal Fire and the citizens of Butte County,” said ODF Agency Representative Matt Howard. “While the work they completed was within their scope, training and experience, the difference with the Camp Fire was the sheer magnitude of the incident. The severe loss of human life, infrastructure, and natural resources are unlike anything our folks have experienced.

“As the agency representative, I am extremely humbled to have shared this assignment with the two experienced Engine Strike Teams from the Oregon Department of Forestry and Douglas Forest Protective Association. Our homecoming is bittersweet as we head home to our loved ones,” Howard added. “Our heartfelt wishes are with our fellow firefighters, Paradise and surrounding communities, and all those impacted by this tragic fire.”

Brief break for a quick photo of the EOA strike team.

Monday, November 12, 2018

ODF Sends Two Strike Teams to Assist With California Wildfires


ODF has deployed two strike teams with equipment and personnel to assist in suppression efforts for the devastating wildfires in California. This deployment was coordinated with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

Using the EMAC system, California fire officials originally requested additional resources to support suppression efforts in the southern portion of the state. The two ODF strike teams, consisting of five Type 6 engines each, two strike team leaders and an agency representative (28 personnel total), departed early Sunday morning. In addition to ODF districts in eastern and southern Oregon, resources include engines and personnel from the Douglas Forest Protection Association.

While en route, the ODF teams received new orders to divert to the Camp Fire near Chico, CA due to the evolving and emergent situation. Both strike teams arrived at the Camp Incident Command Post Sunday evening and will be joining suppression efforts on the front line Monday morning. 

“Oregon and California have a long-standing relationship of mutual aid wherever suppression resources are needed,” said Oregon’s State Forester, Peter Daugherty. “California has come to our aid during our challenging fire seasons and Oregon is now able to help California during this tragic time of need.”

ODF crews receive their assignment
 at Camp Fire Incident Command Post 11-12-18
At the time of arrival, the Camp Fire was reported at 111,000 acres and 25 percent containment, with approximately 6,453 residences destroyed and an additional 15,000 structures threatened. An estimated 31 people have lost their lives and an additional 200 are listed as missing.

The ODF teams will join their Oregon State Fire Marshal counterparts, adding to the growing number of out of state resources joining suppression efforts during these devastating wildfires impacting much of the state. The team anticipates a full 14-day deployment.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

ODF Continues Support for Hurricane Michael Response Efforts


Due to the extensive destruction caused by Hurricane Michael, the Florida Division of Emergency Management requested additional Incident Management Teams.  ODF stepped up to fill this request, working with Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM), and sending a third team to assist with relief and recovery efforts.  


As with recent deployments, this request was coordinated through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). The EMAC provides mutual assistance among states and territories during any governor-declared state of emergency through a responsive system. This structure allows states to send personnel, equipment, and supplies to assist with response and relief efforts in other states.

This ODF Team, led by Incident Commander Link Smith, arrived in Tallahassee, Fla. Nov. 6, where they received an in-briefing from the Florida National Guard at the Tallahassee Base Camp. Their current mission is to assist with oversight of the Base Camp located in Marianna, Fla., in the heart of the destruction zone. Their assignment includes ensuring the safety and welfare of Base Camp and coordination of communication efforts.

ODF IMT (Smith) at Base Camp in Mariana, FL
reunited with Florida PIO who was
deployed to Oregon during the 2018 Fire Season.
ODF Agency Representative Dennis Lee mobilized with the team to oversee coordination of both of the ODF teams currently deployed in Florida. “The magnitude of destruction here is difficult to convey for those back at home,” Lee said. “Along with the devastation of so many homes and buildings, the sheer volume of what I would refer to as near-deforestation is somewhat unreal. Despite all of this, life goes on for everyone here and the resiliency of the local residents is truly inspiring. We are honored to be here to do our part in helping our Florida friends put the pieces back together.”

While ODF utilizes the EMAC most often during fire season, agency Incident Management Teams maintain All-Hazard qualifications to ensure capacity for potential disaster relief needs. ODF’s complete and coordinated fire suppression system relies on strong partnerships with other agencies, states and even countries, offering reciprocal assistance in times of need.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

New post-wildfire resource guide now available to help communities cope with flood and debris flow danger


SALEM, Ore. – Autumn rains may have ended Oregon’s wildfire season but not the risk of floods and debris flows following in their wake. That is why a working group of state and federal agencies have  released a new playbook. The playbook will aid local officials in finding resources to help prevent or cope with potentially catastrophic wildfire after-effects.
Above: After intense wildfires, burned soils may be less able
to absorb runoff, raising the risk of flooding or debris flows.
 
 

Wildfires burned more than 856,000 acres this year across all of Oregon, well above the 10-year average of approximately 500,000 acres, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Chief of Fire Protection Doug Grafe.
 

High intensity wildfires can destroy protective vegetation and alter soil so it is less able to absorb rainfall and snowmelt,” said Grafe. “After such fires, there can be an increased risk of flooding or debris flows.”
 
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, landslides (also known as debris flows) cause about $3.5 billion (in 2001 dollars) in damage in the U.S. each year, and claim between 25 to 50 lives. A prime example is the debris flow that hit Montecito in Southern California in January of this year. Just weeks after the Thomas Fire burned the hills above the town of about 9,000, a debris flow swept through, killing more than 20 people.

Ryan Cahill, hydraulic engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said his agency worked with several partners to compile and complete the guide, including:

·       Natural Resources Conservation Service

·       Oregon Department of Forestry

·       Oregon Emergency Management

·       Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development

·       U.S. Forest Service

·       U.S. Geological Survey

“Federal and state partners already work together to suppress wildfires, so it was natural for us to come together to prepare a guide for community leaders on what to do after wildfires,” said Cahill. “The playbook we produced explains what to do to reduce the risk from floods and debris flows, identifies the resources available to help do that, and where to find those resources,” said Cahill.

Among steps Cahill said at-risk communities can take, one is designating in advance where evacuation centers will be, including animal-friendly locations where pets and livestock can receive care. Alert systems, such as reverse 9-1-1 calls, should also be organized and periodically tested.
 

All government entities and critical emergency organizations, such as hospitals, utilities, food banks and schools, should know their roles in a community flood or debris flow emergency. Then be equipped and prepared to carry out those plans.
 

Although the playbook is intended for elected local officials and emergency managers, individuals can help protect themselves as well.
 

“Property owners and those living and working near rivers where catastrophic fires have occurred should be aware of their level of risk and take appropriate preparedness actions,” said Oregon Office of Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps. “This includes having ‘two-weeks ready’ preparedness supplies handy, signing up for emergency notification systems where you live, and reviewing insurance coverage to make sure your home is protected for hazards like flooding and landslides.”  
 

The playbook can be accessed at:
 

# # #

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

2018 Fire season officially over, fire prevention continues

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), which protects roughly 16 million acres of private, state and federal lands, officially declared the end of fire season statewide yesterday, Oct. 29.

For ODF, fire season is declared and terminated at the district level, based on local fire danger conditions. Of the Department’s 12 districts across the state, Central Oregon and Southwest Oregon Districts saw drier, warmer conditions early on, officially kicking off the season June 1. Over the course of the 2018 fire season, ODF and its forest protective association partners suppressed a total of 1,059 fires. An estimated 75,531 acres burned on ODF-protected land this year, more than doubling the 10-year average.

Oregon’s complete and coordinated wildfire protection system — consisting of ODF, landowner partners, agency cooperators, and the fire contracting community — was successful under extremely challenging conditions this year. In spite of statewide drought conditions, ODF and partners again succeeded in keeping 95% of all wildfires to less than 10 acres with aggressive and successful initial attacks.

From mid-June through much of September, a combination of historically high temperatures and near-record low precipitation levels and fuel moistures resulted in a significant fire activity increase across the state, in spite of an above-average snowpack and precipitation the previous winter. Dry lightning storms were a contributing factor.

More than 2,800 lightning strikes in mid-July ignited hundreds of starts, at least seven of which became large fires in southwest Oregon. Another lightning event in August with 2,335 strikes ignited hundreds of starts in central and eastern Oregon. Of these hundreds of starts, the majority were caught and contained in initial attack, with only eight large fires established in central Oregon.

“With numerous large fires and limited resources across the nation, the 2018 fire season brought real challenges,” said ODF Interim Deputy Chief for Fire Operations, Russ Lane. “For ODF, we also saw a number of successes. Thanks to aggressive and safe firefighting, we were able to keep several potentially large fires small in scale while keeping firefighter injuries to a minimum. We are grateful for our partnerships and their invaluable roles within Oregon’s complete and coordinated fire protection system, including forest landowners, rural fire districts, and federal and state partners.”

Nationally, as well as in Oregon and Washington, we were at Preparedness Level 5 (the highest level) for 32 days, 8 days shorter than the record-holding 2017 fire season, Increased wildland fire activity on the national level required major commitment of limited resources, adding complexity to an already dynamic fire season.

With the transition out of fire season, ODF districts across the state are shifting their attention to wildfire prevention efforts. Working with partners, landowners and members of the public, the shared objective is to minimize potential fuels for the coming fire season, mitigating risk while remaining vigilant with any activity associated with fire.

“Fire prevention remains our top priority,” Lane said. “Human-caused fires — especially debris burning and illegal, abandoned campfires — continue to raise concern, and we are focusing outreach and messaging efforts there alongside our partner Keep Oregon Green. Combined with fuel reduction and mitigation, we are constantly looking for new ways to raise awareness and support Oregonians in our shared objective to reduce wildfire and keep Oregon green.”

Monday, October 29, 2018

ODF sends incident management team to support Hurricane Michael response efforts

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), working with Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM), is filling a request from the Florida Division of Emergency Management for an All-Hazards Incident Management Team (IMT) to support the response to Hurricane Michael. 

The request is coordinated through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) agreement. The EMAC offers assistance among states and territories during any governor-declared state of emergency through a responsive system, providing a mutual aid structure. This allows states to send personnel, equipment, and supplies to assist with response and relief efforts in other states.

While ODF utilizes the EMAC most often during fire season, agency Incident Management Teams maintain All-Hazard qualifications to ensure capacity for potential disaster relief needs. ODF’s complete and coordinated fire suppression system relies on strong partnerships with other agencies, states and even countries, offering reciprocal assistance in times of need.

With an estimated 23,000 residents still without power in wake of this catastrophic storm, the ODF IMT, led by Incident Commander Chris Cline, is eager to bring some added capacity to their counterparts in Florida.
The IMT departing to Florida on Monday.


“Our strong partnerships with fellow agencies and states have proven invaluable to our success in wildfire suppression,” Cline said. “Just a few months ago we had an IMT from Florida standing side-by-side with our folks battling wildfire here in Oregon. Knowing the bases are covered on the home front with fire season winding down, our team is ready and willing to get to work. We’re truly grateful for the opportunity to return the favor.”

Arriving in Tallahassee, Fla. Monday afternoon, the team will be working out of a base camp in Panama City, in the epicenter of the devastation zone. The ODF IMT anticipates a full deployment of 14 days.  

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Oregonians return home from Florida inspired and humbled

Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) IMT’s returned home from Florida yesterday, Oct. 27 after a 14-day assignment. Their mission was in Bay County in the Florida Panhandle, where they integrated with IMTs from Mississippi and Florida. The unified IMT provided leadership to the county for emergency management response by deploying resources for search and rescue. The team then shifted into recovery mode by helping residents obtain transitional housing and getting kids back into schools.
OSFM and ODF team in Bay County, Florida
supporting the cleanup efforts for Hurricane Michael.

Incident Commander Ted Kunze said, “OSFM and ODF working in unified command along with the IMTs from other states optimized our resources and created a robust IMT, which allowed us to get started quickly and efficiently on our search and rescue mission. I feel we all represented Oregon very well.”

The team spent time in Mexico Beach, where the eye made landfall. Tens of thousands of tarps have been distributed in Bay County. They were in total awe of the spirit of the people here and the outpouring of volunteers throughout the county from all over the country. A funeral was held Wednesday for the Bay County firefighter killed last week. The Oregon IMT is donating $1,000 to the family. 


In Mexico Beach, Florida, tarps distributed cover roofs.
Although the recovery efforts posed some challenges, the team describes their mission as very inspiring and humbling. They are very proud of the work done by both of our teams in helping Floridians put the pieces back together again.

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 about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity.

Current wildfire info

National weather forecasters predictions that Oregon would see above average temperatures and below average rainfall in the summer of 2018 proved true. Almost all of Oregon was abnormally dry this summer, with a majority of the state in moderate to severe drought. Many areas posted record high temperatures or record strings of hot days. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.


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. In total there are about 30.4 million 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. While suppressing large fires can cost millions of dollars, economic and environmental damage from wildfires can be many times greater.

Followers

About Me

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