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.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Central Oregon fire roundup

Source: Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

Central Oregon firefighters coordinated through the Central Oregon Dispatch Center were busy Wednesday with fires ignited by lightning activity that passed through the area Tuesday. Most of the fires remained small due to quick response by initial attack crews. Much of the storm activity was focused along the Cascade Mountains, with some cells drifting to the east.

One of two larger fires, the Devil’s Half Acre Fire, is burning on Prineville Bureau of Land Management protected land approximately one mile west of the Deschutes River, approximately five miles north of Maupin and west of Oak Springs. Initial estimates of fire size are 300 acres; heavy smoke is currently limiting visibility. As of 5:00 p.m., three single engine air tankers and three heavy air tankers are actively dropping retardant on the blaze.

Ground resources on scene include three engines with five additional engines ordered to arrive Wednesday night. A 20-person hand crew is ordered to arrive Thursday morning. Winds 15-20 mph are creating erratic conditions and pushing the fire to the south towards Maupin. A number of developed campgrounds along the river corridor are potentially threatened by the blaze, including White River Campground, White River State Park, Surf City and the Oak Springs Fish Hatchery.

The Fall Canyon Fire is burning on steep slopes on Prineville Bureau of Land Management administered lands along the west side of the Lower Deschutes River, 12 miles north of Grass Valley. The fire, reported at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, has grown to 1000 acres and is burning in steep, rugged terrain and heavy grassy fuels. The river remains open, and no structures are in imminent danger. Three single engine air tankers and sixty firefighters (including the Silver City Hotshots and the Lassen Hotshots) and support personnel responded.

A one-tenth acre fire on the Deschutes National Forest in the Skyliner area west of Bend and north of Meissner Snopark was reported by Lava Butte Lookout around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Initial attack crews responded and contained the fire; no additional resources are needed.

On the Ochoco National Forest, initial attack crews are responding to small five fires; four of the fires are located west of Pisgah Lookout and a fifth fire is located south of Big Summit Prairie east of Horse Prairie. All of these fires are less than ¼ acre in size and quick containment is expected.

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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.