2015 another severe fire season

In 2015, more than 631,000 acres burned on all forestland jurisdictions in Oregon. Firefighting costs totaled $240.5 million.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Weigh Station Fire expands to 400 acres

The Weigh Station Fire reported Saturday afternoon in the Oregon Dept. of Forestry's Pendleton Unit had spread to 400-plus acres by evening. Resources fighting the fire include: one heavy air tanker, 10 single-engine air tankers, two helicopters, 12 fire engines, three bulldozers and three hand crews. The fire is uncontained. Cause is under investigation.

Weigh Station Fire burning in Pendleton Unit

The 40-plus acre Weigh Station Fire was reported burning in the Oregon Department of Forestry's Pendleton Unit Saturday afternoon. Resources fighting the fire include three heavy tankers, six single-engine air tankers, two helicopters, six fire engines, two hand crews and two bulldozers. Cause is under investigation.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Small fires breaking out amid hot, dry conditions

Douglas Forest Protective Association firefighters responded to the Richardson Road Fire, a natural cover fire, Thursday afternoon about four miles north of Myrtle Creek. DFPA was joined by Myrtle Creek Fire Department, Dillard Fire Department, and Douglas County Fire District 2 in the suppression effort on the fast-moving grass fire. The blaze threatened two structures, a barn, and several out buildings, but no damage was reported. Firefighters stopped the fire at two acres and remained on scene through the evening mopping up hot spots and securing control lines. Cause is under investigation.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Creed Fire in Sherman County burns more than 12,000 acres

The 12,500-acre Creed Fire 20 miles east of the town of Wasco is evidence that the seasonal transition has taken hold across much of Oregon. The blaze reported July 21 is burning in grass and brush fuels on Bureau of Land Management lands. Cause is under investigation. The Creed Fire serves as a reminder to Oregonians to be especially careful when working and recreating in the outdoors.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Cool, damp weather reduces fire activity across the state

Last week's cooler weather accompanied by rain in most areas calmed wildfire activity statewide. ODF's field districts worked on firefighting readiness to prepare for the expected seasonal upturn in fire starts. Oregon and Washington currently have 116 private contract 20-person hand crews available for dispatch to fires. ODF's helicopters and air tankers stand ready, along with fire engines and crews.

The absence of dry lightning has reduced the No. of new fires seen at this point over the past three seasons. Fire managers remind the public to be "fire aware" while enjoying Oregon's forests.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Lmited moisture not enough to reduce fire danger

News Release
July 8, 2016

Contact: Christie Shaw, ODF Central Oregon District Public Information Officer

While central Oregon is in a pattern of cooler than normal weather, and has received precipitation over the last twenty-four hours, fire danger remains high.  The US Drought Monitor for Oregon issued on July 7, 2016, indicates that most lands within the Central Oregon District (COD) fall into the “abnormally dry” category.  This reflects what fire managers are seeing in the forest and current fuel moisture conditions.  Now into Oregon’s fifth year of drought conditions, we continue to see the long term affects to the down material and live vegetation stressed from limited water.

For the next few days firefighters will benefit from the moisture, because it will be more difficult for a “spark” to ignite a fire and rapidly spread.  This is because of the increased moisture in the fine fuels, but these fuels will quickly dry out even with the moderate temperatures expected over the next few days.  “The biggest concern for us now, during the heart of fire season, is that someone assumes the rain has made it safe to burn.  When surrounding fuels dry out in the days following a debris burn, the remnants of that debris burn rekindle and spread to wildland fuels while no one is watching”,
states Mike Shaw, Central Oregon District Forester. 

Debris burning is not allowed on lands protected by the Central Oregon District of the Oregon Department of Forestry.  Contact information for your local ODF Office can be found on ODF’s Central Oregon District website: www.ODFcentraloregon.com

COD remains in a Regulated Use Closure intended to reduce human caused fires.  Year to date there have been thirty-six human caused fires within the District, primarily related to debris burning.  This number is significantly higher than the ten year average of twenty-eight (for the same time period).  These fires are preventable, causing concern for firefighters and fire managers.  While fire managers have the ability to use modern technology to track thunderstorms and staff with additional resources, human caused fires do not allow that as they occur at random times. 

Please report fires to your local 911 dispatch center.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - July 5, 2016

Wassen Pond Fire (The Dalles Unit, Central Oregon District) - The Wassen Pond Fire was reported at about 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 3, burning four miles west of The Dalles on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry and Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue.

The fire remains at 300 acres this morning (about 30 acres on ODF jurisdiction) and is 75 percent contained. Line construction will continue today to fully contain the fire.

The fire is under Unified Command between ODF and MCFR. Cause remains under investigation.

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: information@odf.state.or.us.

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

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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.