Current situation

Sunny and dry conditions again prevail across Oregon this week. Mild temperatures will give way to warmer conditions, melting snow and drying fuels faster. This will raise fire risk across the state. There have already been twice as many wildfires on ODF-protected land compared to the same time last year, with more than twice as many acres burned.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, a time when homeowners are urged to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfire around their house and other structures. Among these are clearing debris from roofs and gutters, cutting back brush from around structures, and removing lower branches from trees.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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


June 22, 2011

5286 Table Rock RD
Central Point, OR 97502

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 and on the Southwest Oregon District's Wildfire Information and Prevention blog at:, as well as by following Brian Ballou, Southwest Oregon Fire Prevention Specialist, at


Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
Oregon Department of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 665-0662

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

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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.