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.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Burn ban in Washington County applies to ODF-protected lands

Fire Season will begin throughout ODF-protected land in Washington County, starting at 1:00 am on July 11. Fire season is determined by the State Forester when vegetation becomes dry and fires become harder to control.

Fire season restrictions that go into effect in ODF Protection Areas within Washington County on July 11, are as follows:

* The use of fireworks will be prohibited.
* Debris burning will be prohibited.
* Burn permits will be required for any burning and the burn site must be inspected by ODF prior to ignition.

Warnings and citations will be issued by ODF should individuals be found burning without permits in ODF Protection Areas in Washington County. Individuals wishing to obtain a burn permit through ODF should call the ODF Forest Grove District office at 503-357-2191 or the ODF Forest Grove dispatch center at 503-359-7424.

A distinction should be noted regarding the burn ban; the declaration applies to ODF protected land, and not areas protected by a structural fire service or district (for example, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Hillsboro Fire District, etc). The Fire Season declaration by the State Forester does move structural fire agencies to a heightened state of readiness for wildfires, and is the first step in moving towards a countywide Burn Ban in the near future. Once a countywide Burn Ban is declared, there will be no burning of any kind allowed in Washington County.

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.