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

Local fire restrictions now in place in NE Oregon

Beginning at 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, forest and range lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry - Northeast Oregon District went into fire season. This includes private, state, county, municipal, and tribal lands in Union, Baker, Wallowa, and Umatilla counties along with small portions of Malheur, Morrow, and Grant counties.

“Good spring precipitation has created excellent conditions for grass and brush growth.” says Mark Jacques, La Grande Unit Forester for the Oregon Department of Forestry. “Although most fuels are still green at this point, as these fuels cure through the summer, the potential exists for hazardous burning conditions with extreme rates of spread.”

During fire season in northeast Oregon:

• Burning permits are required on all private-owned forest and range lands within the Northeast Forest Protection District for Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF). Contact the local ODF office in La Grande, Baker City, Wallowa, or Pendleton to acquire a burning permit.

• Landowners who conducted burning of slash piles last fall and this past spring are encouraged to check these piles and ensure that they are completely out and all heat is gone. It is not uncommon for recently burned slash piles to have heat remaining in them for several months after the actual burning of the piles.

• Logging and other industrial operations must meet requirements for fire prevention, such as fire tools, water supply, and watchman service when those operations are occurring on private lands protected by ODF. Contact your local Stewardship Forester at ODF offices for more information.

• Campfires must be DEAD OUT! Recreationists are reminded that campfires need to be attended and fully extinguished before being left. Get permission from the landowner prior to starting a campfire.

Above average snowpack and below average temperatures has delayed implementation of fire season, however the extended forecast calls for warmer and drier conditions, dictating a need to enact fire prevention measures across the Northeast Oregon District.

For further information, contact the Oregon Department of Forestry at these local offices:

La Grande Unit (541) 963-3168

Baker City Sub-Unit (541) 523-5831

Wallowa Unit (541) 886-2881

Pendleton Unit (541) 276-3491

To report a fire, dial 9-1-1.

For information on the weekends call the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center in La Grande, (541) 963-7171

Christie Shaw
ODF Northeast Oregon District – Wallowa Unit

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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.