Current situation

Widespread rain and unseasonably cool temperatures in Oregon have dampened existing fires and prevented new ones, easing the strain on firefighting resources. At the same time, wet conditions are making it harder on firefighters trying to remove equipment and repair the impacts from suppression efforts. In steep areas that burned earlier this summer, mudflows, rockslides and fire-weakened trees falling are concerns.






















Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So. Cascade, W. Lane districts declare wildfire season July 2

The Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) South Cascade and Western Lane districts announced that wildfire season will begin on July 2 in all of Lane county as well as eastern Linn county. The South Cascade District protects more than 1.1 million acres of private and public lands from wildfire within the two-county area. The Western Lane District protects 750,650 acres in western Lane County.

“While the spring has been wet and cool, July and August will bring the typical dry and warm weather that will cause the grass and brush to cure out quickly, South Cascade District Forester Lena Tucker said. “We want the public to enjoy their summer weekend outings and always keep fire prevention in their thoughts.”

Entry into fire season imposes certain restrictions on recreational and work activities in the forest. Industrial operations are required to have firefighting equipment on site. Since restrictions may vary, it is advisable to check with the nearest ODF office for rules specific to the local area.

In eastern Linn County, Regulated-Use Closures will be in effect within one-half mile of the Quartzville Rd. from Green Peter Dam to the U.S. Forest Service’s Willamette National Forest boundary. Under this closure, campfires are permitted only at designated locations and on sand or gravel bars that lie between the water and high water marks where there is no vegetation. Use of fireworks is prohibited in this corridor.

Industrial Fire Precaution levels (IFPL) are part of ODF’s closure system that regulates industrial activity in the forests west of the Cascade Mountains. When fire season takes effect, the districts will be at an IFPL 1, which imposes the fewest restrictions and generally requires a fire watch at industrial forest operation sites. IFPL details can be found at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/FIRE/ifpl.shtml

Wildfire facts
On the lands protected by the Department of Forestry, the 10-year average is about 1,100 wildfires burning a total of 26,000 acres. In a typical year, about two-thirds of the fires are caused by people and the remainder by lightning. Of the human-caused fires, fewer than half are caused by forest landowners and operators. And operators alone account for only about nine percent. Across all Oregon forest protection jurisdictions, about 2,600 wildfires burn roughly 239,000 acres annually on average

Monday, June 27, 2011

Coos and Douglas to enter Fire Season on June 29th

Forestlands within the Coos and Douglas Forest Protection Association Districts will enter Fire Season at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, June 29, 2011.

More information on Oregon Department of Forestry districts in Fire Season, Industrial Fire Precaution Levels, and Public Use Restrictions is available on the department's website at:
http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/FIRE/precautionlevel.shtml

***********************

Jeri Chase
ODF Public Affairs Specialist
PH: 503-945-7201

Friday, June 24, 2011

Central Oregon District will enter Fire Season on Monday, June 27

The Oregon Department of Forestry's Central Oregon District, which protects forestlands in Deschutes, Crook, Jefferson, Hood River, Wasco, Wheeler, Grant, Harney, Moro, and Gilliam Counties (and portions of Lake and Umatilla Counties), will enter Fire Season at 6 a.m. on Monday, June 27, 2011. 

For more information, visit their website at:  www.oregon.gov/odf/centraloregon .

********************

Jeri Chase
ODF Public Affairs Representative
PH: 503-945-7201

ODF Weekly Fire Update - Week Ending June 24, 2011

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire update for the week ending Friday June 24, 2011. During the early part of the wildfire season, updates will be sent only when significant fires occur. A weekly summary will be sent on Fridays.


FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS:
There were no fires 10 acres or larger in size reported on ODF-protected lands during the past week.

FIRES ON OTHER LANDS:
No reports of fire on other lands in Oregon.

Forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties that are protected by the department’s Southwest Oregon District will enter fire season on Friday July 1st.

When nearly everywhere you look is green, it’s easy to become complacent about fire danger in the forest. But this Fourth of July there is still much that can burn, even after the wet, cool spring. The Oregon Department of Forestry urges Oregonians to be mindful of fire safety over the Fourth and on into fire season.

OUT-OF-STATE DISPATCHES:
With cool, damp weather prevailing across the Pacific Northwest this spring, wildfire activity has been delayed. This enabled ODF to provide assistance to other states that are experiencing large fires; however, the bulk of ODF personnel are returning home, their fire assignments completed and ready for fire season back in Oregon.

As of Wednesday, June 22nd, ODF currently has 54 overhead (personnel specially trained in wildfire management) deployed to Arizona, Alaska, New Mexico, and California. Their skill sets span the entire range of firefighting jobs, from incident commander to helicopter crew member, fire engine boss to logistics chief. Seventy-seven ODF overhead specialists have returned from fire assignments, bringing the total ODF deployments out of state this season to 131.

These assignments are helping Oregon fire personnel gain experience and keep current their national firefighting qualifications. ODF incurs no financial drain by assisting other states, since the jurisdictional agency hosting fire suppression operations pays the bills. As Oregon enters summer weather conditions, ODF’s fire managers will pull back their personnel from the out-of-state assignments to be ready for wildfires here at home.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION:
For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, www.nwccweb.us/, or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38.

ABOUT THIS UPDATE:
The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. However, because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies commonly work closely together.

This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected land, and on the department's role as a partner in fighting major fires that start on land protected by other agencies.

FIRE INFORMATION

News media may contact the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters office for fire information, (503) 945-7200, weekdays during business hours. After business hours and on weekends, media may obtain fire information by calling the duty pager (503) 370-0403. The duty officer will return media pages promptly.

ODF also maintains a blog that includes breaking news on wildfires, along with current fire statistics. Visit the blog at: http://wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com/

Carelessness can destroy Oregon's beauty. Learn what you can do to prevent wildfires. Visit the Keep Oregon Green Association on the web at www.keeporegongreen.org/.

********************************
Jeri Chase, Agency Web Coordinator/
Public Affairs Representative
PH: 503-945-7201
FAX: 503-945-7212
e-mail: jchase@odf.state.or.us
http://www.oregon.gov/ODF

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fire Season Begins July 1 on ODF-Protected Lands in Jackson and Josephine Counties

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA
June 22, 2011

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT
5286 Table Rock RD
Central Point, OR 97502

Contact:
Greg Alexander, Medford Unit Forester, (541) 664-3328
Rick Dryer, Grants Pass Unit Forester, (541) 474-3152

Fire season on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Southwest District begins July 1. The fire danger level is currently “low” (green) but will move to “moderate” (blue) on Friday, July 1. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will be 1 (one). This declaration affects state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Fire season is determined by the state forester when vegetation becomes dry and fires become harder to control.

Fire season restrictions that will go into effect on July 1 are as follows:
-- Debris burning will be prohibited.
-- The use of fireworks on forestlands will be prohibited.

In the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River between Grave creek and Marial:
-- Camp fires must be in fire pans or on a fire blanket that is placed on sand or gravel bars between the river and the high water mark, and only in areas which are naturally free of flammable vegetation.
-- Smoking will be permitted on sand and gravel bars between the river and the high water mark, and only in areas naturally free of flammable vegetation, or in boats and rafts while on the river.
-- Fireworks are prohibited.
-- Travelers must carry a shovel and a minimum of a one-gallon bucket.

Commercial operations, such as timber harvesting conducted on forestlands will be required to have fire suppression equipment on the job site at all times. A watchman must also be provided.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon fire season regulations, please contact:
Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. (541) 664-3328
Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass. (541) 474-3152

More information is also available on the Southwest Oregon District's fire information web pages at http://www.swofire.oregon.gov/ and on the Southwest Oregon District's Wildfire Information and Prevention blog at:
http://swofire.blogspot.com/, as well as by following Brian Ballou, Southwest Oregon Fire Prevention Specialist, at http://twitter.com/swofire.

###

Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
Oregon Department of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 665-0662
bballou@odf.state.or.us

*******************************
 
Jeri Chase
ODF Fire Duty Officer
Fire Duty Pager # 503-370-0403
PH: 503-945-7201

Friday, June 17, 2011

ODF fire crews are on the move – and getting ready to come home

The Oregon Department of Forestry continues to provide assistance to other states with large fire management support. 84 fire specialists are currently assigned to fires in other states, and 37 specialists have returned to Oregon since deployments began in May.

On the East Volkmar Fire burning in Alaska, the ODF incident management team deployed to the blaze is scheduled to begin transferring command of the fire back to a State of Alaska team on Saturday June 18th, with a majority of the team members traveling back home to Oregon on Sunday, June 19th. A few team members will remain to assist with transition. Current information on the East Volkmar Fire is available through InciWeb at: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2253/

On Thursday, 13 ODF firefighters were dispatched to New Mexico to provide assistance on fire operations in that state.

These assignments are helping Oregon fire personnel gain experience and keep current their national firefighting qualifications. ODF incurs no financial drain by assisting other states, since the jurisdictional agency hosting fire suppression operations pays the bills. As Oregon enters summer weather conditions, ODF’s fire managers will begin to pull back their personnel from the out-of-state assignments to be ready for wildfires here at home.

Kevin Weeks
Oregon Department of Forestry

Fire update - week ending June 17, 2011

There were no fires 10 acres or larger in size reported on ODF-protected lands during the past week.

Kevin Weeks
Oregon Department of Forestry

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Interagency Fire School trains western Oregon firefighters

For the 15th consecutive year, fire management officials from the U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde are hosting an interagency Fire School. The week-long classroom and field-based training session is designed to prepare new firefighters for the rigors of battling blazes, both in Oregon's forests and in rural-urban interface areas.

"Fire School provides essential training in wildland fire for new firefighters and gives career firefighters a chance to refresh their skills and explore leadership opportunities," said Co-Incident Commander Ed Keith, Sweet Home Unit Forester with the Oregon Department of Forestry. "A nearby forest landowner, Cascade Timber Consulting, Inc., has agreed to let us use one of their harvest units as a field site," he added. "The terrain and vegetation found at the site will greatly enhance the students' training experience."

Approximately 200 trainees from a variety of agencies across western Oregon including four National Forests - the Willamette, Siuslaw, Umpqua, and Rogue River-Siskiyou, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, and Oregon Department of Forestry will be in attendance. The interagency school takes place Monday, June 20th through Friday, June 24th at Sweet Home High School.

Trainees spend the first part of the week in an intensive classroom setting that includes several field sessions. Courses being offered this year include basic fire behavior; communications; teamwork; leadership development; fireline safety; use of engines, tools and hose lays; fire in the rural-urban interface; and fire investigation. Students sleep in tents in the school yard and eat their meals together, giving them a taste of what it's like to be in a real fire camp. The five-day course culminates in a live fire exercise on Friday, June 24th where they can apply and develop their newly acquired skills and knowledge by suppressing and mopping-up a real fire.

Co-Incident Commanders Paul Hiebert, Fire Management Officer for the Detroit and Sweet Home Ranger Districts of the Willamette National Forest, and Ed Keith with the Oregon Department of Forestry, have more than 40 years of firefighting experience between them. Both see Fire School as an engaging and collaborative way to train firefighters in tactical skills and safety. Working together in a training setting helps improve communications and builds effective relationships for the agencies to draw on during fire season.

"Wildland fire safety principles are always at the forefront of our training exercises," said Hiebert. "The live fire simulation helps students gain familiarity with working in a fire setting while applying newly learned skills such as how to construct fireline with a pulaski and use water pumps to cool off smoldering stumps and logs. The students also get to experience the interagency coordination that occurs during incident response."

For more information, please contact Public Information Officers Jennifer O'Leary, (503) 298-8190, or Cynthia Orlando, (503) 945-7421. News media interested in covering the event must contact the event Public Information Officers to receive additional instructions.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Prescribed Burn Thursday near Sisters is training exercise

Source:
Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

Fuels specialists from the Deschutes National Forest will ignite a small 2 to 5 acre prescribed burn Thursday as part of the Guard School training program for new wildland firefighters. Forty men and women from the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Oregon Department of Forestry have been in a rigorous training program this week, and the live fire exercise will provide an opportunity to apply and refine their newly acquired skills on a “wildfire.”

The burn will be located in the Highway 20 Project area, four miles north of the community of Sisters on the Cold Springs Cutoff (left off of Hwy 20 on Forest Service Rd 1012). This will be a second entry maintenance burn, although the primary purpose is as a training exercise.

Firefighters will practice assessing a fire, identifying suppression tactics and safety concerns, constructing line, setting hose lays, and applying mop-up techniques. The burn will be 100 percent mopped up as part of the exercise.

The live fire exercise will begin around 12:00 noon, with the active fire portion taking approximately 1-2 hours. Smoke is expected to be of short duration and will be visible from Highway 20, and Tollgate and Cascade Meadows subdivisions.

A Public Information Officer will be on scene to escort news media representatives during the active fire portion of the exercise. Field gear, including fire shelter, hard hat, Nomex clothing, and 8-inch protective leather work boots with Vibram soles will be required to visit the fire line. A limited amount of protective clothing may be provided by request; however, all media representatives must provide their own boots.

For more information about the live fire exercise or for news media personnel to borrow personal protective equipment, please call Lisa Clark (541-280-9560).

For more information about Guard School, please contact Jared Reber at the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District at (541) 383-4000.

Walker Range in central Oregon will enter fire season on Monday

The Walker Range Forest Protection District will enter fire season at 12:01 a.m. on Monday June 20.

Walker Range Forest Protective Association provides protection of private forestlands and certain public lands in northern Klamath County and a portion of northern Lake County, including fire protection for the Gilchrist State Forest.

Kevin Weeks
Oregon Department of Forestry

Reminder - Burning ban starts June 16 in Linn, Benton and Marion counties

A ban on all open and backyard burning will take effect on June 16 in Linn, Benton and Marion counties. The Oregon Department of Forestry and the fire defense boards of the three counties announced the county-wide ban, which aims to reduce the incidence of open debris burns escaping control. The restrictions will extend through October 15 or later, depending on fire danger.

“We are seeing a lot of green‐up occurring with the current weather patterns. This will cause heavy fuel loading for the grass models as temperatures rise and the fuels dry out,” said Mike Beaver, Linn County Fire Defense Board Chief.

The open burning restrictions coincide with the current air‐quality rules set forth by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Those rules already forbid open burning within three miles of cities over 1,000 in population and six miles from cities over 50,000 in population after June 15. These burn restrictions expand the geographical scope to include areas outside the three‐ and six‐mile limit.

“Along with this ban on residential burning we hope that the public has an increased awareness of wildfires and what they can do to help protect their own property,” said Benton County Fire Defense Board Chief Rick Smith. “The work that a property owner does now keeping a defensible space around their property will make the difference between losing a home or structure, and keeping their valuable investment intact during a wildfire event.”

The fire defense board chief encouraged property owners to explore other options during the burn ban. Alternatives to burning include: chipping, hauling debris to recycling centers, and composting. All of these options are now available to the public year‐round.

Rural fire agencies and the Oregon Department of Forestry have the authority to enforce and regulate the burn ban. Under Oregon Revised Statute Chapter 477, the department may issue citations for violation of the burning restrictions.

For more information on the open burning restrictions as well as advice on safe debris disposal, contact the nearest Department of Forestry office or the local fire department.

###

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Klamath/Lake District will enter fire season on Monday

Areas protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Klamath/Lake District will enter fire season at 12:01 a.m. on Monday June 20.

All lands protected by the Klamath-Lake Forest Protection District within one-half mile of the Klamath River from the Keno Dam downstream to the Oregon/California border will also enter Regulate Use Closure at that same time. Regulated Use Closure places specific limitations on public use and establishes fire safety procedures to be followed for public use.

Additional information about Regulated Use Closure is available on the ODF web site:

www.oregon.gov/ODF/FIRE/precautionlevel.shtml


Kevin Weeks
Oregon Department of Forestry

Training for New Wildland Firefighters Underway in Central Oregon

Source:
Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

Forty men and women from the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Oregon Department of Forestry began their initial training to become wildland firefighters this week. At the end of the training the students will be qualified as entry level firefighters, and will join more than 300 other federal and state wildland firefighters working in Central Oregon this summer. “This type of intense training provides the essential foundation for becoming an effective, well-informed, and safe firefighter” said Karen Curtiss, Assistant Fire Staff with Central Oregon Fire Management Service, the combined Forest Service and BLM fire and fuels organization in Central Oregon. 


During the week of training, known as Guard School, the new firefighters will go through a rigorous schedule of classroom and field exercises designed to teach a variety of subjects including fire suppression techniques, fire behavior, fire ecology, and maps/navigation skills. The firefighters will also learn how to operate engines, pumps and other mechanized equipment.

On Thursday, the firefighters will go through a live fire exercise designed to provide hands-on experience in line building techniques, setting hose lays, and applying mop-up standards. Specialists will ignite a small, 2-3 acre “wildfire” in order to give the new recruits an opportunity to apply their new knowledge on an actual fireline.

Classroom work and some of the field exercises will be taught at the Biak Training Center east of Redmond, and the live fire exercise will occur on Forest Service lands in the Cold Springs area west of Sisters. The practice fire will be a low-intensity maintenance burn in an area that was previously treated.

For more information, please contact Jared Reber at the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District at (541) 383-4000.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fire update - Monday, June 13, 2011

No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported today on the 16 million acres of forestland protected by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Oregon firefighters honing skills on other states' wildfires

The La Nina weather pattern has delayed the onset of wildfire season in the Pacific Northwest, but Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) firefighters are seeing plenty of action elsewhere. Eighty-four "overhead" - specially trained fire management personnel - are assisting suppression efforts in five states.

The deployments are enabling Oregon fire personnel to gain fire line experience and keep up their national firefighting qualifications.

ODF incurs no financial drain from assisting other states, since the jurisdictional agency hosting a fire suppression operation pays the bills.

As Oregon enters summer weather conditions, ODF’s fire managers will pull back their personnel from the out-of-state assignments to be ready for wildfires at home. While fire activity typically picks up around the Fourth of July, forecasters predict a delay of a month or more this summer.

Friday, June 3, 2011

ODF Fire Update - Week Ending June 3, 2011

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire update for the week ending Friday, June 3, 2011. During the early part of the wildfire season, updates will be sent only when significant fires occur. A weekly summary will be sent on Fridays.

FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS:
There were no fires 10 acres in size or larger on ODF-protected lands reported during the past week.

FIRES ON OTHER LANDS:
No reports of fire on other lands in Oregon.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION:
For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, www.nwccweb.us/ , or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38.

OUT-OF-STATE DISPATCHES:
While Oregon is preparing to enter fire season, Alaska is currently battling several major wildfires, as have some other states over the past few weeks. Several ODF wildfire specialists have been dispatched to assist the Alaska and other states with firefighting incidents.

After conversations between the Oregon Department of Forestry and the State of Alaska, Alaska requested personnel from the Oregon Department of Forestry to take command of the East Volkmar Fire, which is located approximately 25 miles east of Delta Junction, AK. A "short team" comprised of members from the Oregon Department of Forestry's Fire Team 2, was dispatched on Thursday, June 2.

The positions included in this short team are: an Incident Commander; a Deputy Incident Commander/ODF Liaison, a Safety Officer, two Operations Section Chiefs, an Operations Division Supervisor, an Air Operations Branch Director, an Air Tactical Group Supervisor, a Planning Section Chief, a Resources Unit Leader, a Geographic Information Systems Specialist, a Logistics Section Chief, a Services Branch Director, a Support Branch Director, a Communications Technician, and a Time Unit Leader.

Alaska requested this specific organization based on the objectives of the fire, the current fire environment, and the logistical challenges of suppressing fire in the environment where it is located. The assignment is a compact order including 14 days on assignment, with two days of travel on either end.

More information on the East Volkmar Fire can be found on the national incident information website, Inciweb, at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2253/.

Oregon Department of Forestry personnel participate in wildfire suppression activities out of state as a form of mutual aid. Personnel from the Oregon Department of Forestry dispatched to fire assignments out of state are paid for by the state and the fire receiving the resources, so out-of-state fire assignments incur no cost to the State of Oregon. In addition to the mutual aid benefits from these dispatches, department personnel receive valuable firefighting experience and the opportunity to maintain or expand their own training and qualifications, which provides future benefits in a cost-effective manner for wildfire suppression activities in Oregon . Before considering out-of-state dispatches of any kind, the department carefully reviews the current and predicted situation and resources within Oregon to minimize any possible risk of diminished resources in the event of need here. Oregon Department of Forestry Fire Teams 1 and 3 are ready for dispatch here in Oregon, with Team 3 currently "up" in the rotation.

ABOUT THIS UPDATE:
The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. However, because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies commonly work closely together.

This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected land, and on the department's role as a partner in fighting major fires that start on land protected by other agencies.

************************

Jeri Chase
ODF Public Information Officer
PH: 503-945-7201
Fire Duty Officer Pager: 503-370-0403

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

After conversations between the Oregon Department of Forestry and the State of Alaska, Alaska has requested personnel from the Oregon Department of Forestry to take command of the East Volkmar Fire, which is located approximately 25 miles east of Delta Junction, AK. A "short team" comprised of members from the Oregon Department of Forestry's Fire Team 2, is planned for dispatch on Thursday, June 2.

The positions included in this short team are: an Incident Commander; an Interagency Liaison, a Safety Officer, an Operations Section Chief, an Operations Division Supervisor, two Air Support positions, an Operations Section Chief, two Division Supervisors, a Logistics Section Chief, a Services Branch Director, a Support Branch Director, a Group Support Unit Leader, a Communications Technician, a Plans Sections Chief and Assistant, and a Finance Section Chief.

Alaska requested this specific organization based on the objectives of the fire, the current fire environment, and the logistical challenges of suppressing fire in the environment where it is located. The assignment is a compact order including 14 days on assignment, with two days of travel on either end.

More information on the East Volkmar Fire can be found on the national incident information website, Inciweb, at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2253/.

Oregon Department of Forestry personnel participate in wildfire suppression activities out of state as a form of mutual aid. Alaska is in the middle of their fire season, which generally ends around the time that Oregon's fire season often really starts up - usually in July. Personnel from the Oregon Department of Forestry dispatched to fire assignments out of state are paid for by the state and the fire receiving the resources, so out-of-state fire assignments are accomplished at no cost to the state of Oregon. In addition to the mutual aid benefits from these dispatches, department personnel receive valuable firefighting experience and the opportunity to maintain or expand their own training and qualifications - truly a win/win situation for both states. Before considering out-of-state dispatches of any kind, the department carefully reviews the situation and resources within Oregon to minimize any possible risk of diminished resources in the event of need in our own state. Oregon Department of Forestry Fire Teams 1 and 3 are ready for dispatch here in Oregon, with Team 3 currently "up" in the rotation.

Jeri Chase
Oregon Department of Forestry Agency Affairs
jchase@odf.state.or.us
Work Phone: 503-945-7201
Fire Duty Offier Pager: 503-370-0403

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.





Followers

About Me

My photo
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.