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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ODF assists on urban interface fire near Ashland

Roca Canyon Fire: The Oregon Department of Forestry assisted Ashland Fire and Rescue late this afternoon and into this evening (August 24) on an urban interface fire burning near Ashland that ultimately destroyed 11 homes and damaged 2 others.  There have been no reports so far of any injuries.  ODF resources on the fire included two helicopters from the Medford Tanker Base, numerous engines, and a dozer.  The Rogue Valley Structural Fire Department also assisted on the fire.

The fire started at approximately 4:45 p.m. today in a grassy field on the west side of I-5 near a freeway interchange for South Ashland. Winds at that time were gusty and the fire jumped the freeway, crossing over to the east side, where it then burned in scrub and oak up a hill, and into the residential area.  As of about 8:30 p.m., ODF resources were being released and the fire remains in the primary jurisdiction of Ashland Fire and Rescue.


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

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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 about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity.

Current wildfire info

National weather forecasters predictions that Oregon would see above average temperatures and below average rainfall in the summer of 2018 proved true. Almost all of Oregon was abnormally dry this summer, with a majority of the state in moderate to severe drought. Many areas posted record high temperatures or record strings of hot days. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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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.