Current situation

Fires in the Garner Complex in Josephine County have burned close to a 1,000 acres since Sunday. ODF Incident Management Team 2 has taken command of the Complex to allow the Southwest Oregon District to focus on dozens of other lightning-sparked wildfires. While temperatures in many parts of Oregon won't be quite as hot today, conditions are drier than normal for this time of year. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 99% of Oregonians live in areas that are abnormally dry or in moderate drought, with southeast Oregon already in severe drought.

Many ODF districts and forest protective associations have raised their fire danger level and tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx





Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So. Cascade, W. Lane districts declare wildfire season July 2

The Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) South Cascade and Western Lane districts announced that wildfire season will begin on July 2 in all of Lane county as well as eastern Linn county. The South Cascade District protects more than 1.1 million acres of private and public lands from wildfire within the two-county area. The Western Lane District protects 750,650 acres in western Lane County.

“While the spring has been wet and cool, July and August will bring the typical dry and warm weather that will cause the grass and brush to cure out quickly, South Cascade District Forester Lena Tucker said. “We want the public to enjoy their summer weekend outings and always keep fire prevention in their thoughts.”

Entry into fire season imposes certain restrictions on recreational and work activities in the forest. Industrial operations are required to have firefighting equipment on site. Since restrictions may vary, it is advisable to check with the nearest ODF office for rules specific to the local area.

In eastern Linn County, Regulated-Use Closures will be in effect within one-half mile of the Quartzville Rd. from Green Peter Dam to the U.S. Forest Service’s Willamette National Forest boundary. Under this closure, campfires are permitted only at designated locations and on sand or gravel bars that lie between the water and high water marks where there is no vegetation. Use of fireworks is prohibited in this corridor.

Industrial Fire Precaution levels (IFPL) are part of ODF’s closure system that regulates industrial activity in the forests west of the Cascade Mountains. When fire season takes effect, the districts will be at an IFPL 1, which imposes the fewest restrictions and generally requires a fire watch at industrial forest operation sites. IFPL details can be found at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/FIRE/ifpl.shtml

Wildfire facts
On the lands protected by the Department of Forestry, the 10-year average is about 1,100 wildfires burning a total of 26,000 acres. In a typical year, about two-thirds of the fires are caused by people and the remainder by lightning. Of the human-caused fires, fewer than half are caused by forest landowners and operators. And operators alone account for only about nine percent. Across all Oregon forest protection jurisdictions, about 2,600 wildfires burn roughly 239,000 acres annually on average

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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: information@odf.state.or.us.

Current wildfire info

National weather forecasters are predicting the summer of 2018 will see above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Drought has already been declared in a number of counties in eastern and southern Oregon, with northwest Oregon also unusually dry for June. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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.

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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.