Lightning is largely absent from Oregon this week. However, warm, dry weather will greet the hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving to see the eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21. Avoiding activities that can spark a wildfire is key to making the eclipse a safe and pleasant experience for all. One measure adopted to reduce the risk of wildfire is a temporary ban, now in effect, on all campfires in state parks





Thursday, August 25, 2011

COIDC - Firefighters Respond to New Wildfires in Central Oregon

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 – 3:00 p.m.
Contact: Media Desk, 541/416-6811 www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire


Central Oregon – New wildfires continue to be reported from a lightning storm that passed through much of Oregon and western Idaho yesterday, putting down more than 8,000 lightning strikes. As of 3:00 p.m. this afternoon more than 165 new fires have been reported. New fire reports have been arriving from reconnaissance planes, fire lookouts, fire crews on the ground and members of the public. Firefighters are working to contain new starts and many have been dispatched to multiple fires today. Most of these fires have been quickly contained, while the largest fire continues to challenge firefighters.

The largest new fire is the Hancock Fire (Incident #511) burning more than 10,000 acres east of Clarno. The 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 students may be allowed to return to camp as early as tomorrow.

The Hancock Fire is part of a group of five fires burning in the Clarno area, and is a typical rangeland fire moving quickly through light grass and shrub. Resources on scene include four engines and the Prineville and Union Hotshot crews. Additional resources have been ordered and will be arriving today. The Central Oregon Type II Incident Management Team (Mark Rapp) will assume command of this fire tomorrow morning.

Firefighting efforts have been concentrated 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. One small fire burning south of Black Butte Ranch also received several loads of retardant as a precautionary measure, and crews are currently working on constructing a containment line around this incident.

The National Weather Service has reissued a Red Flag Warning for abundant lightning through 11 p.m. this evening. In addition to the potential to bring new wildfires, firefighters will be watching for any winds that accompany the storms. The storm is expected to track from south to north up the east side of the Cascade Mountains and not move east of Sherman County.

-end-

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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: information@odf.state.or.us.

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, even in non-drought years Oregon's warm, dry summers create conditions that allow for fire to start and spread. In an average summer firefighters still see almost a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.



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. There are about 30.4 million total 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.




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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.