Lightning is largely absent from Oregon this week. However, warm, dry weather will greet the hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving to see the eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21. Avoiding activities that can spark a wildfire is key to making the eclipse a safe and pleasant experience for all. One measure adopted to reduce the risk of wildfire is a temporary ban, now in effect, on all campfires in state parks





Sunday, August 1, 2010

ODF assists with central Oregon fires Saturday

Source: Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center


On Saturday, hold-over fires from lightning activity on Friday began popping up around Central Oregon from the southeast corner of the Deschutes National Forest to the canyon country around the city of Fossil. interagency fire crews dispatched by COIDC responded to approximately 12 new wildfires Saturday, containing most of those at less than half an acre. While most are believed to be lightning fires, one was an abandoned campfire at Wickiup Reservoir.

Incident #464 ignited north of Highway 20 approximately 1.5 miles west of Sisters and was quickly contained. The fire started in an area that had been treated to reduce hazardous fuels as part of the Highway 20 Fuels Reduction Project. Because of the treatment, fire intensity remained low and firefighters responding from the US Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry, the Sisters-Camp Sherman and Cloverdale Fire Departments were able to quickly gain control of a fire burning across the highway from the Tollage subdivision. According to the incident commander, the fuels treatment significantly affected fire behavior and allowed fire crews to gain the upper hand. The fire was contained at 2:45 Saturday afternoon.

Incident #465 was reported shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday by Stephenson lookout. The fire is now approximately 70 acres and is burning primarily on private land in grass and brush seven miles southwest of Antelope. Seven engines coordinated by COIDC have responded to this incident and are working with local landowners to suppress this fire.

Incident #466 was reported at 3:45 Saturday afternoon by Pisgah lookout, and is burning on Warm Springs Tribal lands under an agreement with the BLM for fire suppression 17 miles southwest of Fossil. One structure was within a mile of the fireline and two airtankers dropped retardant to assist with suppression and provide structure protection. The two tanker drops successfully stopped the spread of the fire and it was contained at 5:45 p.m.

Fire crews are also assisting the Fossil Rural Fire Department on Incident #460, burning approximately 3-4 miles south of Fossil, Oregon. The fire is approximately 25 acres and is burning on private land.

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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: information@odf.state.or.us.

Current wildfire info

Cool, wet weather in the winter of 2016-17 ended Oregon's long drought and left a thick snowpack at higher elevations which will take some time to melt. However, even in non-drought years Oregon's warm, dry summers create conditions that allow for fire to start and spread. In an average summer firefighters still see almost a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.



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. There are about 30.4 million total 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.