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 19, 2011

Governor invokes state Conflagration Act to assist North River Road fire

Last night Governor John Kitzhaber declared the North River Road fire, burning just outside the city of Rogue River, a conflagration. The declaration authorized the state fire marshal to mobilize firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire.


"The fire near the City of Rogue River continued to spread last night and threaten both life and property, which is why I have directed all available state resources to help contain its growth," said Governor Kitzhaber. "My priority is to ensure that this community has every resource necessary to fight this fire and protect the citizens of Jackson County."

The request for the conflagration was made by Fire Defense Board Chief Lang Johnson.

The fire is approximately 425 acres and approximately 40 homes are threatened. Structural task forces from Klamath and Lane counties are on scene to assist in protecting threatened structures.

As of this morning, residents that were initially advised to evacuate last night, have been allowed to return to their homes. Currently the fire is estimated to be 40% contained and is burning in grass and timber understory. The cause is under investigation. Three outbuildings have been destroyed. Expected containment is Saturday, August 20, 2011.

Oregon's conflagration may be invoked only by the Governor and allows the State Fire Marshal to dispatch structural firefighters and equipment. More information on Conflagration and Emergency

Mobilization is available at OSFM website: http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/Oregon_Mob_Plan.shtml

Additional resources on surviving wildfires may be accessed at: http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/CommEd_WAW.shtml

Source: Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office

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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.