Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land has officially ended in all of Oregon as cooler temperatures and moister conditions settle over much of the state. With the end of wildfire season in Oregon, firefighting resources are now more available. As a result, several public and private engines and crews have been dispatched to California to assist with the devastating wildfires there.































Monday, August 29, 2011

COIDC Media Release: Central Oregon Fires Update; August 29, 2011 @ 9:30 a.m.


Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

4550 SW Airport Way
Prineville, OR 97754

FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
For Immediate Release: August 28, 2011 – 9:30 a.m.
Contact: Media Desk, 541/416-6811 www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire

Central Oregon Fires - Morning 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 yesterday, putting down 740 lightning strikes in Central Oregon. Additional concerns include a potential increase in wind that could challenge firefighters throughout the area; however, daytime temperatures are expected to be a little cooler for the next several days.

Firefighters worked overnight on a new fire 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. 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. One of the fires in the 30-mile Creek area continues to have higher fire activity and the overall acreage for the Complex grew to 45,000 acres yesterday. 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 http://www.inciweb.org/ . 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 is open again today; however, travelers should check www.tripcheck.com for the latest road information before driving through.

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

-end-

**************************************
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: 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. 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.