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.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Update: Berry Rock Fire Grows to 60 Acres

July 11, 2010 // 10:45 a.m.

More than 100 firefighters are working today to contain the Berry Rock Fire, 3 miles northeast of Trail, which has grown to approximately 60 acres. Airtanker 62 has been flying loads of retardant to the fire this morning from the Medford Airtanker Base. A second airtanker has been ordered.
Vehicle traffic is being managed at 1253 Elk Creek Rd. This is near the staging area for fire-fighting equipment and crews.

No structures are immediately threatened.

Four helicopters are dropping buckets of water onto the fire to cool down hot spots, and a bulldozer is helping with fireline construction. Three additional bulldozers have been ordered
Engines and water tenders are not being used because the fire is in an area where there are no roads.

The Berry Rock Fire started Thursday, July 8, from a lightning strike. The area in which the fire is burning is very steep, and there is thick brush, mixed stands of conifers and hardwoods, and many dead trees. Burning material rolling downhill has been a constant problem for firefighters.

The remaining lightning-caused fires in Jackson County are either being mopped up, or are being checked daily for smoking material.

A reconnaissance plane is in the air searching for sleepers from Thursday’s thunderstorm. It often takes several days after a thunderstorm before burning material in the forest generates enough smoke to be seen above the tops of the trees. These fires are called sleepers. Three sleepers were spotted, and contained by firefighters, on Saturday.

Brian Ballou
Oregon Department of Forestry

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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:

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.


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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.