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.

































Sunday, July 11, 2010

ODF Medford crews continue to battle Berry Rock fire

Five helicopters carrying big buckets of water dumped thousands of gallons onto the Berry Rock Fire today. More than 120 firefighters stirred the wet stuff into the burning limbs and logs, resulting in a significant reduction of open flame within the burned area. Crews also continued digging a fresh fireline, and had 70 percent of the fire ringed by mid-afternoon.

Two airtankers dropped several loads of retardant along the fire's flanks to slow its spread.

Portable water tanks were flown to the top of the fire area, and the night crews will roll out a network of hoses.

Elsewhere on ODF's Medford Unit today, crews working on the 15-acre Sprignett Fire reported the fire has a good line all the way around it and that they completed mop-up. Another fire-fighting crew was flown by helicopter to Wilcox Peak to check several small lightning-caused fires. No smokes were reported.

Brian Ballou
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: 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, 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.





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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.