Current situation

ODF's Southwest Oregon district has become the first to announce it will be declaring the start of fire season restrictions beginning Friday, June 1. The district has already reported having 34 wildfires burning 35 acres. Two-thirds (26) were caused by humans.

Statewide, the number of wildfires now exceeds 100, with 124 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 15, 2011

Prescribed Burn Thursday near Sisters is training exercise

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.

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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.