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.

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

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
Work Phone: 503-945-7201
Fire Duty Offier Pager: 503-370-0403

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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

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.


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.