Cooler temperatures and higher humidity with light rainfall this past weekend in many areas of the state have helped firefighting efforts. Lightning is less of a concern this week but humans causing new fires remains a top concern. Gov. Kate Brown announced over the weekend that she is authorizing Oregon National Guard personnel to help fire suppression efforts near Crater Lake National Park.


Monday, August 8, 2011

New fires on federal lands Monday



Source: NW Coordination Center

The Vale and Prineville Districts of the Bureau of Land Management continue to manage several large fires in eastern Oregon, including a new one reported Saturday southeast of Burns.

The Clarks Butte fire 10 miles west of Jordan Valley in southern Malheur County has a perimeter established around the 10,000 acre fire, which is believed to caused by a lightning start. The fire, burning in grassland, is 20 percent contained. Air resources are working the fire. The fire went from about 3,000 acres to 10,000 acres within three hours. This rapid growth is due to significant wind event in connection with thunderstorms. 165 persons, 13 BLM fire engines and several aircraft are being utilized on this fire scene.

Vale District BLM officials report the Crooked Creek fire (500 acres) and the Jordan Craters fire (560 acres) have been brought under control today.

Sutton Mountain fire burning 35 miles northeast of Prineville is 70 percent contained and at 4,200 acres, according to BLM fire officials. The fire, burning in grass and timber is believed to be lightning-related.

In the BLM Prineville district, the Brown Road fire burning 9 miles north of Maupin is 90 percent contained and 5,650 acres. The fire burned along the Lower Deschutes River and moved east from the canyon bottom to the rim above the river. The campground closure between Buckhollow and Macks Canyon was lifted Sunday evening. Camping restrictions in the area have been lifted. Cause of the fire is under investigation.

Boating was re-opened from Buck Hollow to Macks Canyon. Vehicles bringing rafters or taking rafters will be able to travel without escorts along the Access Road north of Hwy 216; however, they should watch for firefighters working in the area and should yield the road to fire vehicles. Campsites below Macks Canyon are open for rafters doing an overnight float to Heritage Landing.

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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.



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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. 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.