Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land has ended in most of Oregon as cooler temperatures, shorter days and moister conditions settle over much of the state. Exceptions are ODF-protected lands in the southern border counties of Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake.






























Saturday, August 27, 2011

COIDC Media Release - Fires Continue to Burn in Central Oregon; Saturday, August 27, 2011 @ 8:p.m. PDT

Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

4550 SW Airport Way
Prineville, OR 97754


FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
For Immediate Release: August 27, 2011 – 8 p.m.
Contact: Media Desk, 541/416-6811 www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire


Fires Continue to Burn in Central Oregon


Central Oregon – As firefighters continue to work on several wildfires burning in the area, the first possible fire from the lightning storm moving through Central Oregon this evening has been reported. With only 115 strikes reported so far, the storm initially appears to have much less intensity than the storm that moved through last Wednesday and is accompanied by precipitation.

With many fires newly contained and the potential for others to start, hunters ready for the opening of 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.

The largest fires are part of the Hancock Fire Complex, which is a group fires burning around Clarno. The fire had moderate growth today and is 22,000 acres this evening and remains 50 percent contained. The fires in this complex are burning 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) 787-4323 x 2009.

An additional fire started in the Twickenham area located north of Mitchell, and firefighters are working on three fires in this area now. Incident #615 was reported Thursday and remains approximately 550 acres today. The Dead Dog Fire (Incident #614) continued to grow today and is now 2,500 acres and is five percent contained. Approximately 30 firefighters with the assistance of a helicopter continue to work on this fire and are challenged by very limited access and steep slopes. Incident #656 was reported this afternoon and has grown to 100 acres. Oregon Department of Forestry firefighters, along with eight smokejumpers, have been working to suppress the fire this afternoon. Airtankers dropped several loads of retardant to knock down the fire. All of these fires are burning in a mix of grass and shrub, making short uphill runs on one side of a slope and backing slowly down the backside of slopes. The fires are terrain and wind driven fire and behavior on these typically picks up in the afternoon as daytime temperatures rise and afternoon winds increase.

Firefighters are making progress several other smaller fires. Incident 606 in the Hamilton Creek area north of milepost 46 on Highway 26 near the Ochoco Divide is 25 acres and 100 percent contained this evening. The Snowgate Fire burning southwest of Black Butte Ranch near Sisters will be contained at 8 p.m. this evening.

The ORCA Type II Incident Management Team formally took over the Razorback Fire burning on both sides of the Lower Deschutes River this evening. The fire moved northeast off of the Reservation and jumped the Deschutes River near Dant last night. Today, the fire burned on the east side of the river and moved north and south approximately 15 miles along the river (burning between River Miles 75 – 60). The fire also burned east up to Highway 197. The Razorback Fire is approximately 12,500 acres this evening and has no estimate of containment.

The Lower Deschutes River is not closed to rafting at this time; however, rafters should use caution when floating through this stretch of the river and should not stop along the sides where the fire is burning or interfere with suppression operations, including helicopters dipping for bucket work.

Both north and southbound lanes of Highway 197 are closed between mileposts 46-67 for 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. In addition, as a precautionary measure the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department is evacuating Trout Creek and South Junction campgrounds this evening.

The team will also assume command of the Shitike and Powerline Fires tomorrow morning. Warm Springs Fire Management will retain command of the Box Canyon Fire. Until the team has information lines set up, information on this complex (High Cascades Complex) can be reached at (541) 553-8190.

-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.