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.


































Saturday, July 31, 2010

Buckhorn Fire approaches containment

The Buckhorn Fire in central/eastern Oregon on BLM land is at 4,588 acres and 80 percent contained.


More information on the fire is available through the InciWeb site:
http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2049/

Bear Claw Canyon fire under control

The Bear Claw Canyon fire 13 miles NW of Ukiah was brought under control Friday evening. Four engines from the ODF Pendleton Unit attacked the fire with a five-person crew in addition to one water tender and one bulldozer. Lightning has been established as the cause of the fire, which was held to 28 acres.

Kevin Weeks - Oregon Department of Forestry

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rabbit Fire in Baker County

The Rabbit Fire burning 10 miles NE of Unity in Baker County was reported about 3pm Friday. Resources from ODF units in Baker City and La Grande responded to the fire, which on Friday is estimated at 15 acres. Preliminary investigation indicates lightning started the fire. Two engines are at the fire scene with one fire crew, receiving support from an air tanker, attack helicopter and two bulldozers.

Kevin Weeks - Oregon Department of Forestry

Bear Claw Canyon fire

Four engines from the ODF Pendleton Unit responded Friday afternoon the Bear Claw Canyon fire burning 13 miles NW of Ukiah. Initial estimates place the fire at about 20 to 25 acres. Crews anticipate being able to establish a line around the fire on Friday. Cause of the fire is under investigation. A five-person crew is working on the fire in addition to one water tender and one bulldozer.

Kevin Weeks - Oregon Department of Forestry

Red Flag Warning for much of eastern Oregon into Saturday

The National Weather Service in Pendleton issued a Red Flag Warning on Friday afternoon warning of abundant lightning and dry fuel conditions across eastern and NE Oregon. The warning is in effect until 10:00 AM Saturday.

Thunderstorms are expected to develop about 6pm in central Oregon and move east. ODF fire crews across the region will be monitoring lightning strikes for potential fire activity this weekend.

Kevin Weeks - Oregon Department of Forestry

July 30 morning report

No new fires 10 acres in size or larger were reported to the ODF Salem Coordination Center during the past 24 hours.

Cooler weekend, more T-storm concerns for eastern/central Oregon

The National Weather Service summary for the weekend calls for cooler weather in western Oregon from an offshore low pressure system. West of the cascades, the air is fairly moist but clear, with humidity in the seasonal range; as the air moves over the Cascades, central and eastern Oregon will see dryer air and breezy conditions that could increase fire potential until Sunday.


The Medford NWS office is calling for increased thunderstorm potential Friday around Crater Lake and Diamond Lake. Concern has also been expressed about breezy conditions in the Columbia Gorge and the crest of the Cascades this weekend.

A Fire Weather Watch has been issued by the Pendleton NWS office for much of northeast Oregon into the weekend. The low pressure moving over the Cascades could turn into lightning storms by the time the system reaches the NE part of the state.

Kevin Weeks – Oregon Department of Forestry

Medford Airtanker Base Aerial Firefighting Open House on Saturday

From SWOFIRE:

This Saturday, the Medford Airtanker Base is hosting an aerial firefighting open house. The event is free to the public and will remain open from 9 a.m. to noon.

The Oregon Department of Forestry and U.S. Forest Service will provide an airtanker, planes and helicopters for public viewing. This is a fun way for adults and children to learn what different resources are used during the fire season that help firefighters put out wildfire. Pictures will be available for those who would like a keepsake from the event.

“This is a great way for the community to see the fire-fighting resources used during the fire season,” said Dan Thorpe, ODF district forester. “Aerial firefighting is not something all residents are aware of, and this will be a fun way for them to learn more about what we do.”

The event will be held at the Medford Airtanker Base, located at 600 Nebula Way in Medford. The Airtanker Base is sited at north of the Jackson County International Airport grounds.

The open house will be subject to cancellation due to fire.

Progress made on Buckhorn Fire

As of Thursday evening, the Buckhorn Fire near Clarno is at 4,000 acres and 60 percent contained.


Updates on this fire are available at the InciWeb site:
http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2049/

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Federal team now in command of Buckhorn Fire

Source: Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

The Central Oregon Incident Management Team, incident commander Mark Rapp, assumed command of the Buckhorn Complex this morning at 0600 hours. The incident command post (ICP) is located at the Wheeler High School in Fossil, Oregon.

Two fires of approximately 2,200 acres and 100 acres make-up the Buckhorn Complex. Yesterday, the largest fire of the complex burned down to the John Day River and crossed over the river. A large burn-out operation was also conducted to secure the west and southwest flank. Additional crews are on order as well as five engines. These firefighters will be used on the line and also to assist with initial attack responsibilities. The combined acreage is totaling 2,300 acres with an estimated containment of 20 percent.

There are no closures at this time but recreation floaters and rafters are asked to be aware that helicopters are dipping water from the John Day River to be used for fire suppression and are asked to stay clear of the dip sites.

QUICK FACTS:

Acres: 2,300
Containment: 20%
Location: 13 miles north of Clarno
Cause: Lightning
Start Date/Time: Reported July 27, 2010, 1148 hrs
Total personnel: 121
Crews: 4, Engines:5, Helicopters: 1- medium, 2-heavy lift, Water tenders: 1

Wednesday busy for Klamath Basin and NE Oregon crews

Additional lightning strikes in Klamath and Lake Counties kept ODF resources busy Wednesday.

On Wednesday, 22 fires were reported to the Klamath & Lake Interagency Fire Centers, including a fire under federal jurisdiction which reached 29 acres. Six of those reported fires occurred within ODF protection areas, including the 20-acre Klamath Hills fire south of Klamath Falls. ODF relied on extensive initial attack of the fire from the air, including a helicopter and DC-7 air tanker. Two crews continue to work the fire on the ground Thursday.

In ODF’s Northeast Oregon District, six fires were responded to Wednesday, all quickly brought under control. Extensive patrols using fire engines and aircraft were planned for the region Thursday.

Kevin Weeks - Oregon Department of Forestry

Recap of recent fires for ODF's central Oregon operations

ODF Central Oregon District crews are preparing for additional thunderstorms into this weekend. Thursday afternoon’s National Weather Service forecast calls for thunderstorms with possible gusty winds while Friday’s forecast anticipates renewed lightning strikes but with some precipitation coming with storms. Low humidity expected Saturday could increase fire potential through the weekend.


ODF John Day Unit crews responded to 1 new fire in the region Wednesday that was quickly controlled.

Much attention in the region is being focused on the Buckhorn Fire. The fire, which began on BLM land about 13 miles north of Clarno on Tuesday, became the largest wild fire of 2010 thus far in Oregon at 2,200 acres currently. Resources for this fire are dispatched through the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center in Redmond, which draws on many jurisdictions for fire suppression response. A federal government “Type 2” incident management team is assuming command of the fire Thursday, with a fire camp based at a high school in Fossil.

As of Thursday, ODF resources are not assigned to the Buckhorn Fire, as the fire scene is several miles away from a fire protection district affiliated with ODF. ODF provides fire protection services on 15.8 million acres of land in Oregon (roughly one-quarter of the state), including state-owned lands, private lands within a fire protection district and also provids fire services under contract protecting BLM-owned forests in western Oregon.

Kevin Weeks - Oregon Department of Forestry

Klamath Hills fire approaches full containment

The 20-acre Klamath Hills fire was reported before Noon Wednesday burning 12 miles south of Klamath Falls; preliminary reports indicate lightning caused the fire. Six fire engines responded, with three air tankers and two helicopters providing support to two crews. Full containment of the fire is expected Thursday. Two hand crews remain at the fire Thursday for mop-up operations and to monitor for potential flare-ups.

Kevin Weeks - Oregon Department of Forestry

Buckhorn Fire on federal land now 2,200 acres

Source: Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center


Central Oregon – Firefighters, working in very steep terrain, continue to work to suppress the now 2,200-acre Buckhorn Fire. The fire is burning in a remote section of the John Day River approximately 13 miles north of Clarno. The fire started Tuesday along the east side of the river; however wind Tuesday afternoon helped the fire jump to the west side of the river as well. The growth on the fire today is primarily attributed to the steep slopes and wind, as well as the light, grassy fuels. At this time, there is no estimate of containment.

Firefighters successfully completed a burnout operation along a nearby ranch as a prevention measure, and no structures are currently threatened. There are no closures in effect along the John Day River.

The fire is staffed with a 5-person hand crew, three Hotshot crews, four rappellers, two Type I Helicopters, one Type II helicopter, and five engines. A Type II Incident Management Team will assume command of this incident Thursday morning.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Buckhorn Fire expands on federal land

From the NW Interagency Coordination Center:


The Buckhorn Fire, 13 miles north of Clarno on the John Day River, has grown to 500 acres by Wednesday afternoon. The fire is on US Bureau of Land Management land. More than 90 fire fighters are battling the fire.

Current information is available at: http://www.nwccweb.us/information/fire_info.asp

ODF wrap-up of fire activity on private land in NE Oregon

Heavy thunderstorm activity has ignited numerous fires on Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) protected lands in northeast Oregon over the last several days. “We had an intense lightning storm roll through northeast Oregon yesterday that brought abundant lightning. Even with the moisture which came under the core of the storm, we have had seven fires on land protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry,” commented Matt Howard, Wallowa Unit Protection Supervisor. Fires ranged in size from a single tree to 1 ½ acres.

Fire starts from the thunderstorms which began hitting the area late Sunday have been suppressed at initial attack by our ODF fire crews with assistance from our federal cooperators and are in mop-up and monitor stages. The one exception is the King Ranch Fire which started late Sunday and spread to 33 acres before being contained Tuesday. Rainfall followed the center of the storm Tuesday, reducing initial spread of fire, and making smokes more difficult to detect. Fire managers anticipate detection of additional fires from yesterday’s lightning which may have been left smoldering from the passing rain. As the temperatures rise throughout the day and fuels continue to dry out these smoldering fires will likely spread and be more easily seen by firefighting crews and fire lookouts throughout the region.

A specially funded helicopter was moved up from Pendleton to Wallowa County Tuesday where the storm hit especially hard. The Type II helicopter was used for dropping water on the largest of the fires which was threatening private land in the Chesnimnus area. The helicopter will be staged in Wallowa, to be dispatched as needed throughout northeast Oregon. Firefighters expect additional thunderstorms to continue to move through the region through the remainder of the week and into the weekend. “There is a persistent upper level low pressure system that is set up off the northern California coast and a large high pressure system in the mid-west, creating an air mass that is very unstable, allowing thunderstorms to build readily”, Howard explains.

Fire Season is in effect for lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, Northeast Oregon District. A Regulated Use Closure has also been implemented for protected lands. For more information regarding Fire Season and Regulated Use visit: http://bmidc.org/restrictions.shtml

Jamie Knight / Christie Shaw
Oregon Department of Forestry - NE Oregon District

ODF battling Klamath Hills fire

ODF crews and fire resources are responding to a fire burning in brush and juniper about 12 miles south of Klamath Falls. The 19-acre Klamath Hills fire was reported before Noon Wednesday and preliminary reports indicate lightning caused the fire. Crews on the ground are expected to bring the fire under control by tonight. Six fire engines responded, with three air tankers and two helicopters providing support to two fire fighting crews.

Kevin Weeks - Oregon Department of Forestry

ODF Medford crews keep grass fire small

From SWOFIRE:

A 1/4-acre grass fire located 3 miles north of Howard Prairie Reservoir is being mopped up Wednesday afternoon by ODF engine crews.

Brian Ballou - Oregon Department of Forestry

Tuesday brought small fires for ODF crews in eastern Oregon

Tuesday provided significant lightning activity with small fires for ODF Districts in eastern and south-central Oregon to respond to. All new fires reported Tuesday in ODF jurisdiction were brought under control.

The ODF Klamath/Lake District responded to six new fires Tuesday, all were controlled at less than one-quarter acre.

Walker Range Forest Protective Association in Crescent responded to three fires resulting from lightning Tuesday and assisted fire suppression of one fire on federal land within the district. WRFPA crews are assisting with two fires on federal lands Tuesday.

ODF John Day Unit responded to three new fires and ODF Prineville Unit responded to three new fires on Tuesday. ODF Northeast Oregon District responded to five new fires Tuesday, three in the Wallowa Unit and two in the ODF Baker City Unit.

Kevin Weeks - Oregon Department of Forestry

Still more lightning potential for Wednesday in Oregon

The National Weather Service in Medford has modified warnings for increased fire potential in south central Oregon, declaring a Red Flag Warning in effect in southern Klamath and Lake counties from 3:00 pm until 11pm Wednesday. Lightning is expected during this time.

Unstable flows with thunderstorms are expected to stay mostly north of the Oregon-California state line. Weather Service forecasters are warning of lightning, followed by the potential for hail, wind gusts and brief heavy rain. Dryer, more stable air is expected in the Klamath-Lake region Thursday.

A Red Flag Warning for much of central, eastern and NE Oregon continues until 11 pm Wednesday.

Kevin Weeks - Oregon Department of Forestry

ODF crews ready for Wednesday; federal crews battle Buckhorn Fire

The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center (COIDC) reports more than 7,500 lightning strikes pounded central Oregon on Tuesday as storms tracked from Klamath County to southeast Washington. Additional strikes continue Wednesday.

Acreage has increased on the Buckhorn Fire, burning on steep slopes along a remote section of the John Day River approximately 13 miles north of Clarno. The fire was reported at 11:53 Tuesday morning to COIDC and by Wednesday morning has consumed 400 acres, burning on BLM and US Forest Service lands. The fire is staffed with a 5-person hand crew, 2 Prineville Hotshot crews, four rappellers, two helicopters, and 3 engines.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

King Ranch fire in Baker County now contained

Oregon Department of Forestry crews, with assistance from contract fire cooperators, contained the 33-acre King Ranch fire 11 miles north of Unity at about 4:00 pm Tuesday.

Kevin Weeks - Oregon Department of Forestry

Lightning produces many fires in south central Oregon

Klamath Falls/Lakeview Interagency Fire Center News Release:

Klamath Falls, Ore- Firefighters are successfully battling a series of fires sparked by recent thunderstorms on lands managed by the Fremont-Winema National Forests, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lakeview District, Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Crater Lake National Park and Sheldon/Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

“Thunderstorm activity the past few days has been significant and multiple lightning strikes have started around 100 fires across south central Oregon,” said Betsy Schenk, Fire Management Officer for the Sheldon/Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex. “The good news is that nearly all of the new fires reported have been located by firefighters.”

As of 3:30 p.m. today, 30 fires have been confirmed in Klamath County and 70 in Lake County. Local firefighters have worked hard and managed to keep most fires under three acres or less in size. However, the largest fire so far is 33 miles west of French Glen on the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge. The McMannus Fire is estimated to be approximately 197 acres in size. There have been 46 fires reported on the Forest Service, 16 on BLM, five on USFW and 33 on ODF protected lands.

The 66-acre Miranda Fire and 1.5-acre Corbell Butte Fire, reported on the Fremont-Winema National Forests’ Chiloquin Ranger District on Thursday, July 22, continues to be patrolled and monitored.
A Red Flag Warning is in effect from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. for lightning with insufficient moisture. This forecasted warning is issued by the United States National Weather Service to inform area firefighting and land management agencies that conditions are ideal for wildland fire ignition and propagation. This week’s forecast predicts the chance of lightning throughout the week.

“With the continued threat of lightning, all agencies are currently working together to get additional resources to supplement our local ones, such as engines, handcrews, helicopters and support personnel ” said Bob Crumrine, Interagency Deputy Fire Staff Officer for the Lakeview BLM and Fremont-Winema National Forests. “Having all these resources available is key to quick initial attack and keeping the fires small.”

Fire danger throughout south central Oregon remains extreme. Fire officials ask the public to be sure of what public use restrictions are in place for the areas they plan to recreate on. For updated information, please call the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) fire information hotline at 541-947-6223.


For additional fire information visit:

Lakeview Interagency Fire Center

Klamath Falls Interagency Fire Center

Update on King Ranch fire

Crews from the ODF Baker City Unit continue to work Tuesday battling the King Ranch Fire, the largest in a sequence of small fires ignited in the Unity & Sumpter area of Baker County following significant lightning activity Monday. The fire, 11 miles north of Unity, is estimated at about 25-30 acres; rain on Monday helped slow down the fire, which approached having a perimeter established around 90 percent of the fire on Monday night. ODF received assistance from Wallowa-Whitman National Forest fire resources, and it is anticipated that crews will bring the fire under control by late Tuesday night.

Kevin Weeks - Oregon Department of Forestry

Medford Air tanker base hosts open house Saturday

Public members in the Medford area Saturday morning are invited to an Open House to see how the Oregon Department of Forestry and cooperating agencies fight fire from the air.

ODF is providing an opportunity to see the DC-7 air tanker, attack helicopters and other aircraft that battle fires in southwestern Oregon from 9:00am to Noon, Saturday July 31 at the Medford Air Tanker Base, 600 Nebula Way adjacent to the Rogue Valley International Airport. The event is free.

Check out the SWOFIRE blog for additional information – the event could be potentially subject to cancellation if fire aircraft are needed in an emergency. You can also contact the ODF Medford Unit for questions at (541)664-3328.

Central Oregon continues on alert for wildfires Tuesday

Sources: Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center (COIDC) and Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).

Wildland firefighters in central Oregon were kept busy by a thunderstorm which placed an estimated 2,000 lightning strikes Monday across the region. Out of this storm Monday, approximately 40 new wildfires were reported to COIDC. Fire crews quickly responded to these new starts and most remained very small. The largest grew to an acre south of China Hat Road near Bessie Butte before being contained.


The National Weather Service has extended a Red Flag Warning for high fire potential due to lightning storms and dry fuels until 11:00 PDT Wednesday evening. Fire crews will be strategically placed around central Oregon to respond quickly to any new fire activity from Monday’s storms, as well as any new starts from the storms expected over the next two days.

Although most of the recent fires across the state have been caused by lightning, several fires responded to by COIDC-dispatched teams have been human-caused. Fire officials want to take the opportunity to remind visitors and residents of central Oregon to be careful with fire. Even with the scattered rain from the recent storms, vegetation remains dry. Make sure to extinguish cigarettes inside vehicles and be sure your campfire is “dead out” before you leave your site.

Kevin Weeks - Oregon Department of Forestry

Monday, July 26, 2010

King Ranch Fire burns in NE Oregon

The 30-acre King Ranch Fire broke out Monday evening in northeastern Oregon near Baker. Oregon Dept. of Forestry firefighters had the fire 90 percent dozer-lined by 8 p.m.
Oregon Department of Forestry is continuing fire mop-up work and reconnaissance patrols today in the aftermath of Sunday evening’s thunderstorms across northeastern and south-central Oregon. Lightning ignited more than 30 wildfires on ODF-protected lands Sunday. In close cooperation with its sister federal agencies, ODF is patrolling by land and air to detect any additional fires that might have been started by the thunderstorm activity.
No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported on the 15.8 million acres of forestland protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

A band of thunderstorms with multiple lightning strikes moved through the John Day area Sunday evening, igniting numerous fires on the Malheur National Forest and Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands. John Day Interagency Coordination Center received reports of 20 fires, with 14 confirmed at this time. Local firefighting resources are responding to all reports and are currently staffing active fires. Extra resources have been ordered, including two hotshot crews out of La Grande and smokejumpers.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Eight-acre fire burning south of Unity Sunday evening

An eight-acre fire is burning 28 miles south of Unity in the John Day Unit - Central Oregon District. The blaze was reported around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 25. Resources working the fire include: two fire engines, two light air tankers, two helicopters and one five-person crew. A 20-person crew has also been ordered. The initial size estimate has been revised through more accurate mapping.
No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported today on the 15.8 million acres of forestland protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported today on the 15.8 million acres of forestland protected by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Current Fires:
No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Miranda Fire near Chiloquin completely lined

The 50-acre Miranda Fire reported Thursday afternoon, July 22, has been completely dozer-lined. Firefighters are currently working spot fires. The Miranda Fire is burning entirely on U.S. Forest Service lands 10 to 15 miles northeast of Chiloquin. Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) assisted federal forces with initial attack, fielding a heavy air tanker and a helicopter.

50-acre Miranda Fire burning in Klamath-Lake District

The 50-acre Miranda Fire was reported Thursday afternoon, July 22, burning on U.S. Forest Service lands 10 to 15 miles northeast of Chiloquin. Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) responded with one heavy air tanker and a helicopter. Federal resources at the fire include a heavy air tanker, single-engine air tanker, and a lead plane. Initially, the jurisdiction was uncertain. ODF is providing firefighting resources under the "closest-forces" agreement with sister wildland fire agencies. The fire has since been determined to be burning entirely on Forest Service lands.

ODF fire engine crew takes part in highway rescue

Responding to emergency situations is what Oregon Department of Forestry fire engine crew members Penny Lehr and Greg Hart do for a living. So when they came upon a motorcycle accident recently, there was no hesitation. They administered first aid to the victims while paramedics from Bend Fire and Rescue rushed to the scene.

“My crew of two medics had their hands full because of the number of patients involved,” Fire and Rescue Captain Chuck Goss said. “The actions of Greg and Penny facilitated the quick stabilization of these patients. I had additional medic units arriving and each patient was ready for transport with no delay. It could not have happened as smoothly without their help.”
Current Fires:
No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported on forest lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Current Fires:
The 168-acre Pistol River Fire nine miles south of Gold Beach along Highway 101 was contained at 8 a.m. today. Ignited by a vehicle crash, the fire burned on both sides of the highway. Coos Forest Protective Association (CFPA) responded to the blaze, fielding two helicopters, one lead plane, four fire engines, two bulldozers and one water tender. A large structural firefighting force was also on scene to protect commercial properties threatened by the fire. Today two inmate crews, and CFPA resources including four fire engines and a water tender remain at the site performing mop-up.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pistol River Fire burning on South Coast

The 15-acre Pistol River Fire reported Tuesday afternoon is burning nine miles south of Gold Beach along Highway 101. Approx. 10 acres are west of the highway and five acres east. The acreage estimate was reduced from an initial estimate. Coos Forest Protective Association (CFPA) is fighting the fire. CFPA has two helicopters, one lead plane, four fire engines, one water tender and two bulldozers on scene. High winds are complicating the firefighting effort. The fire is threatening structures, and a large structural firefighting force is coordinating with CFPA on the suppression effort.
Daily Fire Update - Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Current Fires:
No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported on forest lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).

ODF’s Central Oregon District announced that a Regulated-Use Closure will go into effect at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, July 21. Regulated Use does not prohibit activity in the forest but initiates additional restrictions aimed at preventing human-caused fires.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Daily Fire Update - Monday, July 19, 2010

Current Fires:

No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported on forest lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.


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

Friday, July 16, 2010

A story about one small fire . . .

The goal of the Oregon Department of Forestry is to suppress 94 percent of all fires started on the forestlands that we protect at at 10 acres or less. Here’s a story about one of them.


A member of the public, and a follower on this blog, was driving west on Highway 34 yesterday when he spotted what appeared to be a small fire and some smoke a couple of miles east of Blackberry Campground. He stopped and reported it at the Campground. This ended up being a fire at MP 18 on our forestlands that are protected out of the Toledo Unit of our West Oregon District. The first responder on this fire was Central Coast Fire and Rescue – also showing our cooperative relationships with other firefighting agencies throughout the state – and it was suppressed after reaching a size of only about 50 feet square. Crews and an engine from our Toledo Unit are out there today finishing mop-up on this fire and will continue to monitor the location in case of any weather-related flare-ups.

This is just one of the many fires throughout the state that our crews and others will respond to over the next few months, doing our best to keep them small with minimal loss to resources and at the least possible cost.

And, as always, to report a fire, dial 9-1-1.


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

Daily Fire Update - Friday, July 16, 2010

Current Fires:
No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported over the past 24 hours on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.


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

Thursday, July 15, 2010

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry Daily Fire Update for Thursday, July 15, 2010.


Current Fires:
No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported over the past 24 hours on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Fires on other Forestlands:
The Oregon Department of Forestry provided mutual aid Wednesday evening on a fire outside of ODF’s jurisdiction that burned near Forest Grove. Estimated at 10-12 acres, on private lands, ODF continues today with mutual aid response that includes a crew from South Fork Forest Camp.

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

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Daily Fire Update - Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Current Fires

No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported over the past 24 hours on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.


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

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Daily Fire Update - Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry Daily Fire Update for Tuesday, July 13, 2010.


CURRENT FIRES
No new fires 10 acres of larger were reported over the past 24 hours on forest lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Red Flag Warning for mid-Columbia until 10pm

The National Weather Service office in Pendleton has issued a Red Flag Warning for high winds and low humidity within Fire Zones OR-Z609 and OR-Z631, in effect from 9:00 AM until 10:00 PM PDT Monday.


The area of this warning – generally -- covers the counties of Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Morrow and portions of Umatilla County (including the cities of Pendleton and Milton-Freewater)

Gusty winds coupled with low humidity are expected to increase the potential danger for fire in the region. A Red Flag Warning is designed to call attention to limited weather conditions of importance that may result in extreme burning conditions. It is issued when it is an on-going event or a fire weather forecaster has a high degree of confidence that Red Flag Warning criteria will occur within 24 hours of issuance.

Kevin Weeks
Oregon Department of Forestry

Berry Rock and Sprignett Fires have perimeters established

Sunday night there were a combined 148 firefighters manning the Sprignett and Berry Rock Fires. Currently on the 15 acre Sprignett Fire, the area has been 100% lined and 100% mopped up. The Berry Rock Fire has been 100% hand lined and 10% mopped up around the 60 acre perimeter.


Monday there are 207 firefighters working on both fires. There will be one inmate crew, two engines, 12 hand crews and three helicopters on scene.

Brian Ballou
Oregon Department of Forestry

Sunday, July 11, 2010

ODF Medford crews continue to battle Berry Rock fire

Five helicopters carrying big buckets of water dumped thousands of gallons onto the Berry Rock Fire today. More than 120 firefighters stirred the wet stuff into the burning limbs and logs, resulting in a significant reduction of open flame within the burned area. Crews also continued digging a fresh fireline, and had 70 percent of the fire ringed by mid-afternoon.

Two airtankers dropped several loads of retardant along the fire's flanks to slow its spread.

Portable water tanks were flown to the top of the fire area, and the night crews will roll out a network of hoses.

Elsewhere on ODF's Medford Unit today, crews working on the 15-acre Sprignett Fire reported the fire has a good line all the way around it and that they completed mop-up. Another fire-fighting crew was flown by helicopter to Wilcox Peak to check several small lightning-caused fires. No smokes were reported.

Brian Ballou
Oregon Department of Forestry

Update: Berry Rock Fire Grows to 60 Acres

July 11, 2010 // 10:45 a.m.

More than 100 firefighters are working today to contain the Berry Rock Fire, 3 miles northeast of Trail, which has grown to approximately 60 acres. Airtanker 62 has been flying loads of retardant to the fire this morning from the Medford Airtanker Base. A second airtanker has been ordered.
Vehicle traffic is being managed at 1253 Elk Creek Rd. This is near the staging area for fire-fighting equipment and crews.

No structures are immediately threatened.

Four helicopters are dropping buckets of water onto the fire to cool down hot spots, and a bulldozer is helping with fireline construction. Three additional bulldozers have been ordered
Engines and water tenders are not being used because the fire is in an area where there are no roads.

The Berry Rock Fire started Thursday, July 8, from a lightning strike. The area in which the fire is burning is very steep, and there is thick brush, mixed stands of conifers and hardwoods, and many dead trees. Burning material rolling downhill has been a constant problem for firefighters.

The remaining lightning-caused fires in Jackson County are either being mopped up, or are being checked daily for smoking material.

A reconnaissance plane is in the air searching for sleepers from Thursday’s thunderstorm. It often takes several days after a thunderstorm before burning material in the forest generates enough smoke to be seen above the tops of the trees. These fires are called sleepers. Three sleepers were spotted, and contained by firefighters, on Saturday.

Brian Ballou
Oregon Department of Forestry

Fires in Jackson County continue Sunday

ODF’s Medford Unit is battling the Berry Rock fire Sunday. The fire, part of the Cabin Canyon Complex fires, has consumed an estimated 60 acres. The fire is 40 percent contained on Sunday morning. Eight ODF fire engines are on scene, with attack support from a DC-7 air tanker, 4 bulldozers and several helicopters. Preliminary investigation points to lightning as the cause of the fire.

Kevin Weeks
Oregon Department of Forestry

Saturday, July 10, 2010

ODF SW Oregon crews mop up lightning fires

Seventeen fires started by Thursday's thunderstorms have been found on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry in Jackson County. Below is a summary of the fires:

The 15-acre Sprignett Fire, 5 miles northeast of Wimer, is 100% lined and mop up is underway. Hand crews, helicopters, a retardant plane and dozer were all used Friday.

Berry Rock #1 and Berry Rock #2 have combined since a spot fire joined the two Friday afternoon. The combined 10 acre fire is 3 miles northeast of Trail and has been 100% lined and is now being mopped up.

The 3-acre Camel Hump Fire, 3 miles northeast of Shady Cove, is now mopped up and completely lined.

The 2-acre Obenchain Fire, located 7 miles southwest of Butte Falls, is 100% lined and mopped up.

The Longbranch Fire, 2 acres (revised acreage), located 3 miles west of Shady Cove, is 95% mopped up and lined.

The 6200 Butte Falls Highway Fire, 2 acres in size, is completely lined and mopped up.

The remaining fires are smaller than 1 acre and are lined and mopped up.

A new fire was discovered this morning on Wilcox Butte, 5 miles northwest of Gold Hill. A crew is on-scene, and the fire is estimated at less than 1 acre in size.

More than 170 firefighters worked to put out the fires last night. Suppression resources used on Friday included 10 engines, three bulldozers, seven helicopters and one retardant plane. This morning there are 164 firefighters out on the fires. Their suppression resources include 11 engines, 2 helicopters and one retardant plane.

Today’s forecast is expected to be sunny with temperatures in the mid 90’s. Tonight is expected to be partly cloudy.

Ashley Du Brey
Oregon Department of Forestry

ODF crews responding to fire near Gold Hill in southern Oregon

From SWOFIRE-

An ODF fire crew has been transported by helicopter to the Wilcox Peak Fire, current estimated to be smaller than 1 acre. Fire is about 5 miles northwest of Gold Hill, in the Left Fork Sardine Creek drainage.

Brian Ballou
Oregon Department of Forestry

Firelines Complete Around Sprignett and Longbranch Fires

Here's an update from ODF SW Oregon District / Medford Unit on Friday's fires --

Fire crews working on the Sprignett and Longbranch fires completed firelines around these fires Friday afternoon. The Sprignett Fire is 15 acres in size and the Longbranch Fire is 10 acres. Night shift crews will continue extinguishing hot spots on these -- and other -- fires that were sparked by Thursday's thunderstorms.
The two fires on Berry Rock also are completely lined, and firefighters will patrol this area Friday night. The Berry Rock #1 Fire is 4.5 acres and the Berry Rock #2 Fire is 1 acre.

The 3-acre Camel Hump Fire (downsized due to better mapping), the 1.5-acre Joe Dyer Fire, and a third fire in the area, the tenth-acre Brush Creek Fire, are being mopped up. This cluster of fires is approximately 3 miles east/northeast of Shady Cove.

ODF Southwest Oregon District fire information is also available on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swofire.

Brian Ballou
Oregon Department of Forestry

Friday, July 9, 2010

Update on Sprignett Fire in Jackson County

From Brian Ballou - ODF Medford Unit:

The Sprignett Fire is estimated at 15 acres. A bulldozer has created an access trail to the fire area, while fire retardant and water drops continue from a DC-7 air tanker.

Hot day for state -- Red Flag Warning issued for the mid-Columbia region

Friday is expected to be another day of hot, unstable weather across Oregon.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning in effect from Noon until 10:00 pm PDT Friday for the Columbia Gorge portions of Fire Zones OR-Z609 and WA-Z609 – Gusty winds coupled with low humidity are expected to increase the potential danger for fire in the region. A Red Flag Warning is designed to call attention to limited weather conditions of importance that may result in extreme burning conditions. It is issued when it is an on-going event or a fire weather forecaster has a high degree of confidence that Red Flag Warning criteria will occur within 24 hours of issuance.

Additional thunderstorms are predicted today in southern Oregon.

Significant cooling, with a return to more typical July weather conditions, is expected for most regions of the state Saturday

Kevin Weeks
Oregon Department of Forestry

Update on Lightning-Caused Fires on ODF-Protected Lands in Jackson County

Thunderstorms on Thursday sprayed 150 lightning strikes across Jackson County. Seven fires have been located on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands.
Two fires on Berry Rock, 3 miles northeast of Trail, have burned a total of six acres. Crews are on scene building firelines.
A fire in the Sprignett Butte area, 12 miles northeast of Rogue River, is estimated at 4 acres. Two helicopters are dropping water on the fire, and crews are constructing a fireline.

A 2-acre fire near the 6200 block of Butte Falls Hwy is 40% lined and 80% mopped up.
The Longbranch Fire, 3 miles west of Shady Cove, is estimated at 1 acre. Engine crews have responded and are hiking into the scene.

The quarter-acre Cabin Canyon Fire, 2 miles northwest of Trail, is contained.

A single-tree fire near Shale City, 11 miles northeast of Ashland, is contained.
More thunderstorms are expected in southwest Oregon on Friday, and ODF crews are ready to respond to additional incidents.

Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
Oregon Department of Forestry
http://twitter.com/swofire
http://swofire.blogspot.com/

Lightning and Reports of Smoke Keep ODF Medford Unit Crews Busy

Thursday was a busy day for ODF crews based in Medford. Brian Ballou with ODF's SW Oregon District provides this update --

Thunderstorms were tracking across ODF-protected lands in the north, east and central parts of Jackson County Thursday. Dozens of lighting strikes have been recorded, and nearly a dozen smoke plumes have been reported. Engine crews have taken action on several fires, a 4 acre fire near Sprignette Butte, two separate fires (2 acre and 3 acre) about 3 miles NE of Trail, and a 1-acre fire in the Crowfoot Rd area west of Butte Falls.

Crews are responding to reports of smoke in the Elk Creek, Shale City, and East Evans Creek areas.
The Soda Mtn, Round Mtn and White Point lookout towers are staffed.

http://twitter.com/swofire

http://swofire.blogspot.com/

Thursday, July 8, 2010

New River fire near Bandon contained

The New River fire, which burned 30 acres of Oregon State Parks land, was contained by 5pm Wednesday afternoon. The fire was battled by crews from the Coos Forest Protective Association and Oregon Parks and Recreation.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New River Fire burns 30 acres on south coast

The 30-acre New River Fire six miles south of Bandon on Oregon's southern coast was reported in the early morning on July 7. Fire trail around the blaze is 75 percent complete, with full containment is expected by 5 p.m. A campfire that escaped control appears to be the cause. Coos Forest Protective Association and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department personnel are fighting the fire. Equipment on scene includes two fire engines and two bulldozers. The fire is burning on Parks Department land.

Medford Unit contains 11 acre fire

Crews from the ODF SW Oregon District / Medford Unit responded to a fire on Crowfoot Road near Big Butte Creek which began as a structure fire but also consumed almost 11 acres of brush and timber before being contained late Tuesday afternoon. Cause of the fire is under investigation.

Update on McGuire Reservoir fire

Crews have been able to establish a perimeter around the fire burning NW of McMinnville near McGuire Reservoir. Updated estimates place the fire's acreage at 3 acres. The primary goal for Wednesday will be mop-up work and controlling spot fires within the perimeter.

ODF crews remain on scene and will be assisted by a 10-member crew from the South Fork camp arriving at the scene this morning. Cooperator fire district resources were released from the scene about 11 pm.

Kevin Weeks
Oregon Department of Forestry

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

ODF crews battle fire near McMinnville's reservoir

ODF crews were dispatched Tuesday afternoon at about 4:45 to a fire buring in forestland about six miles northwest of McMinnville, near the City's McGuire Reservoir. The cause of the fire is under investigation, and fire crews were expected to staff the fire throughout Tuesday evening.

By Tuesday evening, preliminary estimates indicate the fire has burned about 1.5 acres. Four ODF engines from the Forest Grove District responded to the fire, with 2 brush rigs and 4 water tenders. Cooperating fire agencies responding to the fire include fire resources from McMinnville, Amity, Dundee and Yamhill.
Current fires
No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported on ODF-protected lands during the past week through July 6.

Fire Statistics
Jan. 1, 2010 through July 6, 2010
Lightning-caused fires: 12 fires burned 2 acre total
Human-caused fires: 85 fires burned 56 acres
Total: 97 fires burned 58 acres
10-year average (Jan. 1 through the present date in the year)
Lightning-caused fires: 40 fires burned 68 acres
Human-caused fires: 200 fires burned 597 acres
Total: 240 fires burned 665 acres

Friday, July 2, 2010

Current fires
No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported on ODF-protected lands during the past week through July 2.

Fire Statistics
Jan. 1, 2010 through July 2, 2010
Lightning-caused fires: 10 fires burned 1 acre total
Human-caused fires: 62 fires burned 54 acres
Total: 72 fires burned 55 acres
10-year average (Jan. 1 through the present date in the year)
Lightning-caused fires: 40 fires burned 68 acres
Human-caused fires: 200 fires burned 597 acres
Total: 240 fires burned 665 acres

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Current fires
No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported on ODF-protected lands during the past week through July 1.

Fire Statistics
Jan. 1, 2010 through July 1, 2010
Lightning-caused fires: 10 fires burned 1 acre total
Human-caused fires: 60 fires burned 55 acres
Total: 70 fires burned 56 acres
10-year average (Jan. 1 through the present date in the year)

Lightning-caused fires: 39 fires burned 66 acres
Human-caused fires: 193 fires burned 574 acres
Total: 232 fires burned 640 acres

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 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.





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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.