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.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A story about one small fire . . .

The goal of the Oregon Department of Forestry is to suppress 94 percent of all fires started on the forestlands that we protect at at 10 acres or less. Here’s a story about one of them.

A member of the public, and a follower on this blog, was driving west on Highway 34 yesterday when he spotted what appeared to be a small fire and some smoke a couple of miles east of Blackberry Campground. He stopped and reported it at the Campground. This ended up being a fire at MP 18 on our forestlands that are protected out of the Toledo Unit of our West Oregon District. The first responder on this fire was Central Coast Fire and Rescue – also showing our cooperative relationships with other firefighting agencies throughout the state – and it was suppressed after reaching a size of only about 50 feet square. Crews and an engine from our Toledo Unit are out there today finishing mop-up on this fire and will continue to monitor the location in case of any weather-related flare-ups.

This is just one of the many fires throughout the state that our crews and others will respond to over the next few months, doing our best to keep them small with minimal loss to resources and at the least possible cost.

And, as always, to report a fire, dial 9-1-1.

Jeri Chase
Oregon Department of Forestry
PH: 503-945-7201
Fire Duty Pager #503-370-0403

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Have a question/comment about this season's wildfire activity on the 16 million acres of private and public forestlands that the Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects from wildfire? Let us know. Please keep your remarks civil and free of profanity.

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.