Current situation

With fire season ended, most burning in Oregon forestland in the late fall consists of controlled burns to eliminate piles of woody debris left over after logging or thinning. The timing of such burns is carefully regulated to minimize the chance of smoke entering heavily populated areas.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Aug. 19, 2011, 8:30 a.m.

Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
Contact: Brian Ballou, ODF public information officer, (541) 621-4156
Don Hickman, Jackson County Fire District #3 information officer, (541) 944-3873

Fire crews working on the North River Road Fire, east of the city of Rogue River, made good progress overnight with building fireline and knocking down hotspots along the fire’s perimeter. The fire is estimated at 425 acres in size and is 40 percent contained. Approximately 300 firefighters are assigned to the fire today.

A second fire west of the city of Rogue River, next to Foothill Blvd., is contained at 2.5 acres.

North River Road is closed to the public between the city of Rogue River and Twin Bridges Rd. Residents who were advised to evacuate from their homes yesterday have been allowed to return. At least 25 homes were threatened by the North River Road and Foothill Blvd. fires.

No homes burned in the fires, but three outbuildings and one vehicle were destroyed. No injuries have been reported.

The cause of the fires, which broke out after 4:00 p.m. Thursday, is being investigated. A series of fires started along the edge of Interstate 5’s northbound lane between mile markers 45 and 48.

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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

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, in the summer of 2017 a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather created conditions that dried forest fuels, allowing fires to start and spread. The result was more than a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.Ninety-five percent of these were put out at less than 10 acres.

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.