Current situation

Winter and spring see lots of controlled burns in Oregon to eliminate piles of woody debris left over after logging or thinning. Embers buried in the ashes of these pile burns can sometimes reignite even days after a fire appears to be out, especially if winds blow away ashy debris. The same winds can then fan smoldering embers back to life. That's why it's a good idea to keep checking old pile burns to ensure no hot spots have rekindled.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Central Oregon continues on alert for wildfires Tuesday

Sources: Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center (COIDC) and Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).

Wildland firefighters in central Oregon were kept busy by a thunderstorm which placed an estimated 2,000 lightning strikes Monday across the region. Out of this storm Monday, approximately 40 new wildfires were reported to COIDC. Fire crews quickly responded to these new starts and most remained very small. The largest grew to an acre south of China Hat Road near Bessie Butte before being contained.

The National Weather Service has extended a Red Flag Warning for high fire potential due to lightning storms and dry fuels until 11:00 PDT Wednesday evening. Fire crews will be strategically placed around central Oregon to respond quickly to any new fire activity from Monday’s storms, as well as any new starts from the storms expected over the next two days.

Although most of the recent fires across the state have been caused by lightning, several fires responded to by COIDC-dispatched teams have been human-caused. Fire officials want to take the opportunity to remind visitors and residents of central Oregon to be careful with fire. Even with the scattered rain from the recent storms, vegetation remains dry. Make sure to extinguish cigarettes inside vehicles and be sure your campfire is “dead out” before you leave your site.

Kevin Weeks - Oregon Department of Forestry

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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

Cool, wet weather in the winter of 2016-17 ended Oregon's long drought and left a thick mountain snowpack. It didn't take long for that to melt and vegetation to dry out due to a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather over the summer. As forest fuels dried, fires started and spread, many from lands adjacent to those protected by ODF, such as the Chetco Bar Fire in Curry County. That one fire accounted for 46% of the 47,537 acres of land protected by ODF which burned in 2017. Of fires originating on ODF-protected land, 95% were put out at less than 10 acres.

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.


About Me

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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.