Current situation

With fire season ended, most burning in Oregon forestland in the late fall consists of controlled burns to eliminate piles of woody debris left over after logging or thinning. The timing of such burns is carefully regulated to minimize the chance of smoke entering heavily populated areas.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Medford Airtanker Base Aerial Firefighting Open House on Saturday


This Saturday, the Medford Airtanker Base is hosting an aerial firefighting open house. The event is free to the public and will remain open from 9 a.m. to noon.

The Oregon Department of Forestry and U.S. Forest Service will provide an airtanker, planes and helicopters for public viewing. This is a fun way for adults and children to learn what different resources are used during the fire season that help firefighters put out wildfire. Pictures will be available for those who would like a keepsake from the event.

“This is a great way for the community to see the fire-fighting resources used during the fire season,” said Dan Thorpe, ODF district forester. “Aerial firefighting is not something all residents are aware of, and this will be a fun way for them to learn more about what we do.”

The event will be held at the Medford Airtanker Base, located at 600 Nebula Way in Medford. The Airtanker Base is sited at north of the Jackson County International Airport grounds.

The open house will be subject to cancellation due to fire.

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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 snowpack at higher elevations which will take some time to melt. However, in the summer of 2017 a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather created conditions that dried forest fuels, allowing fires to start and spread. The result was more than a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.Ninety-five percent of these 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.