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.

































Wednesday, July 28, 2010

ODF wrap-up of fire activity on private land in NE Oregon

Heavy thunderstorm activity has ignited numerous fires on Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) protected lands in northeast Oregon over the last several days. “We had an intense lightning storm roll through northeast Oregon yesterday that brought abundant lightning. Even with the moisture which came under the core of the storm, we have had seven fires on land protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry,” commented Matt Howard, Wallowa Unit Protection Supervisor. Fires ranged in size from a single tree to 1 ½ acres.

Fire starts from the thunderstorms which began hitting the area late Sunday have been suppressed at initial attack by our ODF fire crews with assistance from our federal cooperators and are in mop-up and monitor stages. The one exception is the King Ranch Fire which started late Sunday and spread to 33 acres before being contained Tuesday. Rainfall followed the center of the storm Tuesday, reducing initial spread of fire, and making smokes more difficult to detect. Fire managers anticipate detection of additional fires from yesterday’s lightning which may have been left smoldering from the passing rain. As the temperatures rise throughout the day and fuels continue to dry out these smoldering fires will likely spread and be more easily seen by firefighting crews and fire lookouts throughout the region.

A specially funded helicopter was moved up from Pendleton to Wallowa County Tuesday where the storm hit especially hard. The Type II helicopter was used for dropping water on the largest of the fires which was threatening private land in the Chesnimnus area. The helicopter will be staged in Wallowa, to be dispatched as needed throughout northeast Oregon. Firefighters expect additional thunderstorms to continue to move through the region through the remainder of the week and into the weekend. “There is a persistent upper level low pressure system that is set up off the northern California coast and a large high pressure system in the mid-west, creating an air mass that is very unstable, allowing thunderstorms to build readily”, Howard explains.

Fire Season is in effect for lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, Northeast Oregon District. A Regulated Use Closure has also been implemented for protected lands. For more information regarding Fire Season and Regulated Use visit: http://bmidc.org/restrictions.shtml

Jamie Knight / Christie Shaw
Oregon Department of Forestry - NE Oregon District

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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, 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.