Current situation

Sunny and dry conditions again prevail across Oregon this week. Mild temperatures will give way to warmer conditions, melting snow and drying fuels faster. This will raise fire risk across the state. There have already been twice as many wildfires on ODF-protected land compared to the same time last year, with more than twice as many 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.

Friday, August 26, 2011

COIDC - Central Oregon Wildfire Update, August 25 @ 8:30 p.m.

Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

4550 SW Airport Way
Prineville, OR 97754

FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
For Immediate Release: August 25, 2011 – 8:30 p.m.
Contact: Media Desk, 541/416-6811

Central Oregon – New wildfires continue to be reported from a lightning storm that passed through much of Oregon and western Idaho yesterday. As of 6:00 p.m. this evening, more than 190 new fires have been reported. The majority of these new fires have been quickly contained, with a few growing larger.

The largest fire is the Hancock Fire (Incident #511), which is a complex of five fires burning more than 15,000 acres around Clarno. These fires are burning on both sides of Highway 218 and on both sides of the John Day River. The eastern-most fire triggered the evacuation of approximately 55 young campers yesterday of the Hancock Field Station, a 10-acre science camp run by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry located one mile east of Clarno. Firefighters conducted a burnout operation around the Field Station this morning, and it is no longer considered threatened.

The Central Oregon Type II Incident Management Team (Mark Rapp) will assume command at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. There are currently approximately 95 firefighters working the fire, including two hotshot crews (Prineville and Union), one 20-person hand crew, 15 engines and a variety of other resources. The Hancock Fire Complex a typical rangeland fire that moves quickly through light grass and shrub but dies down overnight when temperatures cool. Fire crews will focus on finding and suppressing hotspots and working on containment lines in the cooler evening and morning hours when fire behavior is lower.
An additional 20-acre wildfire burning this afternoon in the Johnson Creek area is putting smoke into the Prineville area this evening. Incident #608 started approximately ½ mile away from a separate fire that started in Johnson Creek yesterday (this fire was contained last night). An Oregon Department of Forestry airtanker helped knock down this fire with retardant and crews are working on developing a containment line around the fire. The incident is currently about 50% contained, with full containment expected tonight.
Firefighters are also working on a 35-acre fire burning 6.5 miles northeast of Madras. Firefighters are making good progress on the Lyle Gap III fire, and a Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) assisted with several 300-gallon retardant drops.
Firefighters have been working throughout the day to respond to the onslaught of new wildfires located on public and private land, primarily in areas to the south of Bend, around Sisters, on the Crooked River National Grassland, throughout the Ochoco National Forest and in the Clarno area. Fires have been initial attacked by engines, hand crews, rappellers and helitack crewmembers, and smokejumpers. No structures have been lost in any of these incidents and one injury was reported on a fire near Sisters. The firefighter was struck by a snag while working and transported for medical treatment for non-life threatening injuries. Firefighters will continue to locate and suppress any new fires from this storm and will be on the lookout for any lightning hold-over fires over the next several days.

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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 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.