Current situation

Sunny and dry conditions again prevail across Oregon this week. Mild temperatures will give way to warmer conditions, melting snow and drying fuels faster. This will raise fire risk across the state. There have already been twice as many wildfires on ODF-protected land compared to the same time last year, with more than twice as many acres burned.



May is Wildfire Awareness Month, a time when homeowners are urged to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfire around their house and other structures. Among these are clearing debris from roofs and gutters, cutting back brush from around structures, and removing lower branches from trees.








Monday, September 13, 2010

Morning update on Blackwell fire

The Blackwell fire broke out just before 4:00 p.m. Sunday in an area of grass, brush and oak approximately one mile east of Gold Hill and one mile north of Interstate 5. One structure burned near the point of origin. Resources from the ODF SW Oregon District/Medford Unit responded to the fire.


The fire remains active Monday, with the size estimated at 300 acres and a line established around 90 percent of the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Three helicopters dropped water and two air tankers delivered retardant onto the fire front until nightfall Sunday. On Monday dayshift, 12 wildland engines (including a mix of 7 ODF engines and additional contractor engines) and nine crews (about 200 firefighters) will continue work on controlling the fire. Homes and other structures in the fire area received protection from firefighters and engines mobilized as part of a structural fire protection task force, composed of personnel and equipment from fire districts in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Blackwell Hill Road is open to local residents and fire traffic only. Roadblocks staffed by Jackson County Sheriff Search and Rescue personnel are in place at Kirtland Rd., Gold Ray Rd., Merita Terrace and Foley Rd. An evacuation center to assist affected residents was established at the Community Bible Church, 500 N. Tenth Street in Central Point.

Kevin Weeks
Oregon Department of Forestry

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Comments and questions

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 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.