Current situation

Fires in the Garner Complex in Josephine County have burned close to a 1,000 acres since Sunday. ODF Incident Management Team 2 has taken command of the Complex to allow the Southwest Oregon District to focus on dozens of other lightning-sparked wildfires. While temperatures in many parts of Oregon won't be quite as hot today, conditions are drier than normal for this time of year. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 99% of Oregonians live in areas that are abnormally dry or in moderate drought, with southeast Oregon already in severe drought.

Many ODF districts and forest protective associations have raised their fire danger level and tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at

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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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:

Current wildfire info

National weather forecasters are predicting the summer of 2018 will see above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Drought has already been declared in a number of counties in eastern and southern Oregon, with northwest Oregon also unusually dry for June. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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.