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.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

COIDC Media Release - Central Oregon Fire Update: Sunday, August 28, 2011 @ 9 p.m.

FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

For Immediate Release: August 28, 2011 – 9:00 pm
Contact: Media Desk, 541/416-6811

Central Oregon Fire Update

Central Oregon – Firefighters continue to work on several wildfires burning in Central Oregon and are watching for any lightning holdover fires from the past week’s storms. Another storm passed through today, putting down 740 lightning strikes in Central Oregon. The Red Flag Warning is in place through this evening. While the storms passed through the area, some areas received heavy precipitation.

A new fire was located today burning within the Mt. Washington Wilderness located 15 miles west of Sisters. The Shadow Lake Fire is currently 350 acres and forward progress to the east has stopped. The fire is surrounded by numerous fire scars that will assist the firefighters contain the fire; however, there are still several pockets of unburned fuel between the fire scars and the fire itself. There are approximately 110 firefighters taking suppression actions and will remain on site overnight.

Firefighters continue to work on the Hancock Fire Complex burning in the Clarno area in the north-central part of the state. While two of the fires within the Complex are now considered contained, another fire in the 30-mile Creek area continued to have higher fire activity today. The Complex remains 33,000 acres this evening. The fires in this complex have burned on both sides of Highway 218 and on both sides of the John Day River. Firefighters will remain challenged by steep slopes, inaccessible and rugged terrain, and light, flashy fuels that ignite and burn quickly.

The Central Oregon Type II Incident Management Team (Mark Rapp) is in command of the fire and is now providing information about this fire on a wildfire incident website at . The phone line for information for this incident is (541) 787-4322.

Firefighters will continue to work on three fires burning east of Twickenham and north of Mitchell. Incident #615 is holding as of yesterday evening at 550 acres. The Dead Dog Fire (Incident #614) remains 2,500 acres this evening and is 40 percent contained, with full containment expected 9/1/11. Approximately 40 firefighters with support personnel continue to work on this fire and are challenged by very limited access, high winds and steep slopes. Incident #656 is approximately 270 acres. Approximately 65 firefighters are assigned to this incident and made good progress today. All of the fires are burning in a mix of grass and shrub, and are terrain and wind driven.

The ORCA Type II Incident Management Team (Brett Fillis) took over the fires in the High Cascades Complex on the Warm Springs Reservation including the Powerline, West Hills and Razorback fires.

The Razorback fire is estimated at 20,239 acres and continues to burn on both sides of the Deschutes River. The Lower Deschutes River is not closed to rafting at this time; however, fire officials and the Jefferson County Sheriff Department did a pre-cautionary evacuation of South Junction and Trout Creek Campgrounds last night. The Campgrounds remain closed to camping. Rafters can access the river through Warm Springs and Trout Creek launch sites; however, fire officials want to warn boaters the fire is not contained and vehicles left in the launch areas may be at risk if the fire activity increases. In addition, rafters should understand there is a 15 mile section between South Junction and Dant that has burned on both sides of the river. This has limited the campsites available for camping and rafters should use caution when floating through and should not stop along this section or interfere with suppression operations. . Rafters may be asked to temporarily hold up their float to allow helicopters to dip their buckets into the river.

Highway 197 was closed again at 5:00 pm today between mileposts 46-67 due to increased fire activity. Travelers can detour around the closure by driving through Warm Springs or toward Grass Valley on Highway 97 to take Highway 216 toward Maupin.

For more information regarding the High Cascades Complex fires please call (530 598-9303.

With many fires newly contained and the potential for others to start, hunters heading out for bow season should use caution when heading out to their units. They should avoid camping in or hiking through areas with active fire, watch for increased fire traffic on forest and rangeland roads and should watch for dangerous burned out stump-holes and snags in recently burned areas. Check in with local agencies before you head out to see if there are any additional fire restrictions or campground closures.


Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

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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.


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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.