Current situation

ODF's Southwest Oregon district has become the first to announce it will be declaring the start of fire season restrictions beginning Friday, June 1. The district has already reported having 34 wildfires burning 35 acres. Two-thirds (26) were caused by humans.

Statewide, the number of wildfires now exceeds 100, with 124 acres burned.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, a time when homeowners are urged to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfire around their house and other structures. Among these are clearing debris from roofs and gutters, cutting back brush from around structures, and removing lower branches from trees.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

ODF Fire Season Update

Just a few thoughts that Paul Bell, our Deputy State Forester, shared with all employees on Tuesday, July 12, 2011, on the 2011 Fire Season:

Safety Our Highest Priority

As all are aware, we have enjoyed a cool wet spring, which has helped a lot on the front end of the fire season. That said, this type of weather has also produced an over-abundance of fine fuels that with the right combination of summer and fall weather conditions could provide for significant fire activity given an ignition source. That does not mean that is what will happen, it only means that it can happen. Because of that, as always, we must maintain our high standards of safety, prevention and readiness, no exceptions!

Out-of-State Dispatches

As of the end of last week, the Oregon Department of Forestry has dispatched over 140 agency and Forest Protection Association personnel out of state on fire assignments. At this time almost all have returned to their home units. This has provided a wonderful opportunity to help folks with qualifications, training, experience, budget savings and the support of other states. Comments that the department have received back from some of the other states have been outstanding and a credit to the folks who have filled these assignments and in effect served as ambassadors of ODF and the State of Oregon. From my perspective this has been an excellent Department operation.

The out-of-state assignments have gotten the agency off to a great start this year and I look forward to a safe and productive fire season.  As we move forward, we need to continue to watch for each other and assure safety is paramount.

Paul Bell, Deputy State Forester
Chief, Fire Protection Division
Oregon Department of Forestry

Posted by Jeri Chase
ODF Public Information Officer
PH: 503-945-7201
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

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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.