Current situation

Gov. Kate Brown focused Oregon's attention on the active wildfire situation in Oregon at a morning news conference in Portland today. ODF's Chief of Fire Protection Doug Grafe and other state agencies shared how they are responding to the wildfire emergency the Gov. declared Wednesday.

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

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

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.


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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:

Current wildfire info

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.

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.