Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land has officially ended in all of Oregon as cooler temperatures and moister conditions settle over much of the state. This late in the fall, a key source of ignitions is fire escaping when piles of woody debris are burned. Care is required with that activity at any time of year.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blackwell Fire 25 Percent Contained

The Blackwell Fire remains at 315 acres and is 25 percent contained. Night shift crews report that good progress was made on mop-up. No slopovers or flare-ups occurred.

Today, 125 firefighters will continue mopping up. Of particular concern is a steep, partially burned area on the north flank of the fire. Numerous smokes are scattered among unburned islands of fuel. Also, crews will continue patrolling and mopping up the slopes below the radio antenna site on top of Blackwell Hill, located in the southeast corner of the fire.

Occasional small columns of smoke will likely rise from the interior of the Blackwell Fire today. In most cases these burn themselves out after a short period of time. If necessary, a helicopter will be used to drop (large) buckets of water onto the flare-ups.

Travelers on the Blackwell Hill Rd. are asked to drive with caution as fire-related traffic will be heavy today.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Brian Ballou
Oregon Department of Forestry, SW Oregon District

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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 snowpack at higher elevations which will take some time to melt. However, in the summer of 2017 a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather created conditions that dried forest fuels, allowing fires to start and spread. The result was more than a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.Ninety-five percent of these 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.


About Me

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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.