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. With the end of wildfire season in Oregon, firefighting resources are now more available. As a result, several public and private engines and crews have been dispatched to California to assist with the devastating wildfires there.































Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fire Season 2011: Slow train coming

Wildfire experts have forecast a late start to the fire season of possibly three weeks to a month. But whenever fire activity picks up, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will be ready. ODF enters the season with all of the moving parts in place: a full complement of fire engines, fire hand crews, helicopters and heavy air tankers, as well as three specially trained teams on call to manage large wildfires.
Oregon has more than 30 million acres of forest. Wildland fire protection across such an expanse is too big of a challenge for a single agency or department to take on alone.

While the Oregon Department of Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, rural fire departments and other state, local and federal fire agencies have their respective jurisdictions, cooperation is second nature. A longstanding “closest-forces” agreement provides for rapid initial attack on new fires by whichever agency’s firefighting resources can get there the fastest. Billings and reimbursements are sorted out later.

Urban sprawl into forested areas has also brought structural fire departments into the mix. As in years past, ODF's wildland fire incident management teams held their annual pre-season training conference this spring in conjunction with the State Fire Marshal's structural teams. Since they are likely to meet on wildfires that threaten communities, the teams train together to attain seamless coordination in the field.

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Have a question/comment about this season's wildfire activity on the 16 million acres of private and public forestlands that the Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects from wildfire? Let us know. Please keep your remarks civil and free of profanity.

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, 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. 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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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.