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.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lightning starts small fires in Douglas County

Lightning activity from Tuesday evening’s thunderstorm produced about 50 lightning strikes and one confirmed fire on Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA) protected lands. A DFPA engine crew responded to and extinguished a single tree fire in the White Rock area northeast of Myrtle Creek. DFPA also assisted the Umpqua National Forest with three small fires on the Tiller Ranger District.

DFPA will take to the air with a fixed wing aircraft Wednesday morning to scour the county for possible sleeper fires from the storm. DFPA is also working with Douglas County landowners who are assisting in the patrol of forestlands.

The thunderstorm hit Douglas County around 5:00 p.m. as it made it’s way from southern Oregon and traveled north and east over the Cascades. Over 3,600 lightning strikes were recorded throughout the state and were accompanied by varying amounts of rainfall ranging from zero to 1.76 inches.

While on high alert during Monday evening’s storm, firefighters responded to a report of a fire that turned out to be an illegal burn pile near Elkhead Road and Romey Howard Road. The individual was cited for burning without a permit. All back yard burning is currently prohibited on DFPA protected lands.

Tom Fields - Douglas Forest Protective Association
(541) 672-6507 ext. 136

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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.