Lightning is largely absent from Oregon this week. However, warm, dry weather will greet the hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving to see the eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21. Avoiding activities that can spark a wildfire is key to making the eclipse a safe and pleasant experience for all. One measure adopted to reduce the risk of wildfire is a temporary ban, now in effect, on all campfires in state parks





Friday, August 26, 2011

COIDC News Release - Firefighters continue to make progress on Central Oregon wildfires - August 26, 2011 - 8:30 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 26, 2011 – 8:30 a.m.
Contact: Media Desk, 541/416-6811 www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire

Firefighters Continue to Make Progress on Central Oregon Wildfires


Central Oregon – Firefighters with the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests, Prineville District of the Bureau of Land Management and the Oregon Department of Forestry have been busy over the past two days. With more than 196 new wildfires reported since a lightning storm passed through Central Oregon Wednesday afternoon and evening, firefighters have worked to locate new fires, quickly suppress them and move on the next new start. Firefighters will continue to look for lightning holdover fires and will focus detection efforts in the Lower Deschutes River area today after a lightning storm put down another 1,200 strikes in the northern part of Oregon between Wasco County and the Cascade Crest last night.

The largest fire is the Hancock Fire Complex, which is a group of five fires burning more than 15,000 acres around Clarno. These fires are burning on both sides of Highway 218 and on both sides of the John Day River. The eastern-most fire triggered the safe evacuation of approximately 55 young campers Wednesday of the Hancock Field Station, a 10-acre science camp run by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry located one mile east of Clarno. Campers have not yet returned to the Field Station.

The Central Oregon Type II Incident Management Team (Mark Rapp) assumed command of the fire at 6:00 a.m. this morning and is busy assessing the wildfire and bringing in additional resources. Currently more than 100 firefighters are working, including two hotshot crews (Prineville and Union), one 20-person hand crew, 15 engines, and more resources are on the way. The Hancock Fire Complex a typical rangeland fire that moves quickly through light grass and shrub but dies down overnight when temperatures cool. Fire crews will focus on finding and suppressing hotspots in the cooler evening and morning hours when fire behavior is lower and will continue to construct and hold containment lines throughout the day.

Incident #608 burning near Johnson Creek east of Prineville is 122 acres this morning. Crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry worked on this fire overnight and will hold and improve their initial containment line and begin mopping up the interior of the fire today. Incident #608 started approximately ½ mile away from a separate fire that started in Johnson Creek yesterday (this fire was contained Wednesday). An Oregon Department of Forestry airtanker helped knock down this fire with retardant.

Firefighters are also working on a 35-acre fire burning 6.5 miles northeast of Madras. Firefighters are making good progress on the Lyle Gap III fire, and a Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) assisted with several 300-gallon retardant drops. There is no estimate of containment for this incident.

Firefighters on the Warm Springs Reservation have been busy over the past several days responding to new wildfires as well. The Seekseequa Fire burning near the Metolius Rim is 1,000 acres this morning, and the West Hills Fire, burning near the city of Warm Springs is approximately 300 acres this morning. A new fire, the Antoken Fire, is burning about 500 acres on the northeast side of the reservation. No structures are threatened with any of these, and there are no estimates of containment at this time. Information on these fires will available at 541-553-2413.

-end-

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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. There are about 30.4 million total 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.