Current situation

Winter and spring see lots of controlled burns in Oregon to eliminate piles of woody debris left over after logging or thinning. Embers buried in the ashes of these pile burns can sometimes reignite even days after a fire appears to be out, especially if winds blow away ashy debris. The same winds can then fan smoldering embers back to life. That's why it's a good idea to keep checking old pile burns to ensure no hot spots have rekindled.

Monday, August 29, 2011

COIDC Media Release: Shadow Fire Update; August 29, 2011 @ 9 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 29, 2011 – 9:00 a.m.
Contact: Media Desk, 541-416-6811

Shadow Lake Fire Update

Sisters, Ore – Firefighters responded to a new fire yesterday burning 15 miles west of Sisters. The Shadow Lake Fire was reported by Black Butte Lookout yesterday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. The fire is primarily burning inside the Mt. Washington Wilderness, with 20 percent of the fire is burning outside of the wilderness boundary on the Sisters Ranger District. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Shadow Lake Fire is currently 350 acres and forward progress to the east has slowed as the fire burned into the 2006 George Washington fire scar. The fire is surrounded by old fire scars that are assisting in suppression efforts; however there are still several pockets of unburned fuel between the fire scars and the fire itself. With the unburned fuel there is potential for the fire to put out smoke for several days.

A Type III Incident Management Team (Travis Moyer) from Central Oregon assumed command of the fire yesterday at 3:00 p.m. At this time there are 3 hand crews, 7 engines, 1 dozer, and 2 water tenders and miscellaneous overhead.

Weather for today is predicted to be a little cooler with a high temperature of 72 degrees and winds out of the northwest at 10-20 mph. With the increased wind, the focus of today’s work for firefighters is to continue to secure the eastern and northern portions of the fire.

There is an area closure pending and all roads and trails in the fire area are marked at this time. As soon the closure is released we will update the public. In addition, with many fires newly contained in the Sisters area 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 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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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.

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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.