Current situation

Fires in the Garner Complex in Josephine County have burned close to a 1,000 acres since Sunday. ODF Incident Management Team 2 has taken command of the Complex to allow the Southwest Oregon District to focus on dozens of other lightning-sparked wildfires. While temperatures in many parts of Oregon won't be quite as hot today, conditions are drier than normal for this time of year. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 99% of Oregonians live in areas that are abnormally dry or in moderate drought, with southeast Oregon already in severe drought.

Many ODF districts and forest protective associations have raised their fire danger level and tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at

Monday, August 29, 2011

COIDC Media Release: Central Oregon Fires - Evening Update; August 29, 2011; 9 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 29, 2011 – 9:00 p.m.
Contact: Media Desk, 541/416-6811

Central Oregon Fires - Evening 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. Firefighters successfully held firelines through the heat of the day and afternoon winds today. Daytime temperatures are expected to be a little cooler for the next several days before returning to normal or above normal over Labor Day weekend.

Firefighters worked overnight on a fire burning within the Mt. Washington Wilderness located 15 miles west of Sisters. The Shadow Lake Fire is currently 300 acres and forward progress to the east has stopped. The fire is continuing to move to the west. There are approximately 110 firefighters taking suppression actions and two engine crews will remain on site overnight. Firefighters also responded to a new fire burning in the Trout Creek Butte area south of Highway 242. The fire is 15 acres this evening.

Firefighters continue to work on the Hancock Fire Complex burning in the Clarno area in the north-central part of the state. The Complex added one new fire out of the recent lightning storm yesterday, and this fire burned more than 1,000 acres today. The Complex had moderate fire behavior with a few flare-ups and the overall acreage for the Complex grew to 53,000 acres. Firefighters will remain challenged by steep slopes, inaccessible and rugged terrain, and light, flashy fuels that ignite and burn quickly. On part of the 30-mile Creek part of the fireline, several local landowners helped contain hotspots, keeping the fire from reaching wheat fields.

The Central Oregon Type II Incident Management Team (Mark Rapp) remains 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 continued to work on three fires burning east of Twickenham and north of Mitchell. Incident #615 is holding at 550 acres. The Dead Dog Fire (Incident #614) was mapped at 1,310 acres today and is now 60 percent contained. The fire had minimal growth today, with full containment expected 9/1/11. Approximately 48 firefighters with support personnel continue to work on this fire and will remain challenged by very limited access, high winds and steep slopes. Incident #656 is approximately 270 acres and did not grow today. 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.

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 still estimated at 20,239 acres and continues to burn on both sides of the Deschutes River. This afternoon fire officials determined the river to be unsafe for public use. As of 12:01, August 30, 2011 Segment 1 of the Lower Deschutes River will be closed to all public use including camping, day use or launching and rafting until further notice. Segment 1 extends from the Warm Springs launch site at River Mile (RM) 97.5 north to Harpham Flat (RM 56).

Rafters with boater passes for Segment 1 during the closure will be able to use alternate launch sites in Segment 2. No refunds will be offered.

Highways 197 and 97 are open again; however, travelers should continue check for the latest road information before driving through.

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


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

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National weather forecasters are predicting the summer of 2018 will see above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Drought has already been declared in a number of counties in eastern and southern Oregon, with northwest Oregon also unusually dry for June. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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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.

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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.