Lightning is largely absent from Oregon this week. However, warm, dry weather will greet the hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving to see the eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21. Avoiding activities that can spark a wildfire is key to making the eclipse a safe and pleasant experience for all. One measure adopted to reduce the risk of wildfire is a temporary ban, now in effect, on all campfires in state parks





Friday, July 9, 2010

Lightning and Reports of Smoke Keep ODF Medford Unit Crews Busy

Thursday was a busy day for ODF crews based in Medford. Brian Ballou with ODF's SW Oregon District provides this update --

Thunderstorms were tracking across ODF-protected lands in the north, east and central parts of Jackson County Thursday. Dozens of lighting strikes have been recorded, and nearly a dozen smoke plumes have been reported. Engine crews have taken action on several fires, a 4 acre fire near Sprignette Butte, two separate fires (2 acre and 3 acre) about 3 miles NE of Trail, and a 1-acre fire in the Crowfoot Rd area west of Butte Falls.

Crews are responding to reports of smoke in the Elk Creek, Shale City, and East Evans Creek areas.
The Soda Mtn, Round Mtn and White Point lookout towers are staffed.

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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

Cool, wet weather in the winter of 2016-17 ended Oregon's long drought and left a thick snowpack at higher elevations which will take some time to melt. However, even in non-drought years Oregon's warm, dry summers create conditions that allow for fire to start and spread. In an average summer firefighters still see almost a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.



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. While suppressing large fires can cost millions of dollars, economic and environmental damage from wildfires can be many times greater.




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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.