Current situation

With fire season ended, most burning in Oregon forestland in the late fall consists of controlled burns to eliminate piles of woody debris left over after logging or thinning. The timing of such burns is carefully regulated to minimize the chance of smoke entering heavily populated areas.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fireworks Cause of Wildfire near Sisters

Source: Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

Firefighters from the US Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry and Sisters-Camp Sherman Rural Fire Protection District responded quickly to a wildfire that started three miles southwest of Sisters on Tuesday afternoon. The fire grew to 11 acres before crews were able to stop its progress, and was 50 percent contained by Tuesday night.

Fire investigators discovered evidence pointing to the use of fireworks in a dispersed camping area as the cause. No suspects have been identified at this time, and anyone with information should call the Sisters Ranger District.

This incident scene is currently staffed with five engines, three hand crews, and two dozers. Crews also received assistance during the day from two helicopters and one load of retardant from an air tanker. The fire is burning in ponderosa pine/shrub vegetation in an area just west of the Rooster Rock Fire that burned over 6,000 acres last year.

Fireworks are always illegal on federal public lands and state parks, even on the 4th of July, and people found using or possessing fireworks on public lands can receive a fine and can be held responsible for fire suppression and rehabilitation costs in the event that fireworks use causes a wildfire.

With conditions warming on the High Desert, fire officials want to take this time to remind visitors and residents of Central Oregon to be careful with fire. Vegetation is drying quickly, and the lighter fuels like grass and shrubs can be very receptive to an ignition source. Everyone should make sure to extinguish cigarettes inside vehicles and be sure campfires are “dead out” before leaving a site.

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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:

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, in the summer of 2017 a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather created conditions that dried forest fuels, allowing fires to start and spread. The result was more than a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.Ninety-five percent of these 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.