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

Thursday morning status of central Oregon fires

Source: Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

The Devil’s Half Acre Fire is burning on Prineville Bureau of Land Management protected land, approximately five miles north of Maupin and west of Oak Springs. Initial estimates of fire size is approximately 300 acres; heavy smoke has been limiting visibility and has been reported to be impacting the town of Fossil, approximately 40 miles to the southeast. Yesterday afternoon and evening, firefighters were challenged by erratic winds primarily out of the northwest that pushed the fire in all directions; the fire crossed the White River to the north and burned down to the west side of the Deschutes River. Due to the active fire activity, the Oak Springs Fish Hatchery is currently closed to the public.

Ground resources on scene include eight engines and a 20-person contract crew arriving this morning. Two heavy helicopters and two air tankers have been ordered to assist the ground crews this morning. A number of developed campgrounds along the river corridor are potentially threatened by the blaze, including White River Campground, White River State Park, and Surf City.

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. on August 17, has grown to 1000 acres and is burning in steep, rugged terrain and heavy grassy fuels. Quick responding fire crews managed to protect structures in the area, including several old homesteads. The river remains open, and no structures are in imminent danger. One medium and one light helicopter is assigned with a reconnaissance flight planned this morning. Sixty firefighters (including the Silver City Hotshots and the Lassen Hotshots) and support personnel are assigned.

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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.