Lightning is largely absent from Oregon this week. However, warm, dry weather will greet the hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving to see the eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21. Avoiding activities that can spark a wildfire is key to making the eclipse a safe and pleasant experience for all. One measure adopted to reduce the risk of wildfire is a temporary ban, now in effect, on all campfires in state parks





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.

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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.



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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. There are about 30.4 million total 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.




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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.