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.

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:

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

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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.