Current situation

Sunny and dry conditions again prevail across Oregon this week. Mild temperatures will give way to warmer conditions, melting snow and drying fuels faster. This will raise fire risk across the state. There have already been twice as many wildfires on ODF-protected land compared to the same time last year, with more than twice as many acres burned.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, a time when homeowners are urged to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfire around their house and other structures. Among these are clearing debris from roofs and gutters, cutting back brush from around structures, and removing lower branches from trees.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

ODF Wildfire Update, Saturday, August 27, 2011 @ 8:00 a.m.

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire update for Saturday, August 27, 2011, @ 8 a.m. PDT.

Over the past 24 hours, lightning continued to strike in areas of Oregon, although much more localized cells than over the previous two days. More lightning and thunderstorms are in the weather forecasts for parts of Oregon from today through Sunday.

These lighting storms throughout the state this past week have ranged from being accompanied by some to no precipitation and have resulted in many fire starts. The majority of these starts have been contained, with a few fires resulting in extended attack. Crews from all fire protection agencies in Oregon, including the Oregon Department of Forestry, continue to work actively in suppressing new fire starts, extended attack on those fires that necessitate it, and at patrol, reconnaissance, and detection to locate any new holdover fires from earlier lightning, as well as on new fire starts as they occur, in addition to monitoring those fires that have been contained and are in patrol status.

The following information includes fire reports received until 8 p.m., Friday, [note: this is an edited post; the original post incorrectly stated that the day was "Thursday] August 26, 2011:

Central Oregon District, John Day Unit, Fossil Sub-Unit:
Dead Horse Complex: Effective 3:30 p.m. on Friday, August 26th, additional ODF overhead fire management personnel, known as a Type 3 Team, were assigned to a complex of six fires burning grass, juniper, and timber on ODF-protected forestlands (Fossil Sub-Unit) in steep terrain near a local landmark known as Hells Half Acre. The complex of fires, at approximately 35 acres when the team assumed command, includes the previously-named Cobb Saddle Fire (estimated at that time approximately 25 acres), which was previously reported on in the ODF Wildfire Update from August 26th. and is now named the Dead Horse Complex. The determination was made to assign this team based on the extreme fire conditions in the area, fuels, difficult terrain, and potential for fire growth and resource damage. The majority of these six fires have line completed around them, with an airtanker dropping retardant and two helicopters performing water drops earlier throughout the day to help stop the fire spread while the team was being ordered and arriving on the scene to assume command.

The Rosenbaum Fire was reported at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 25, burning in grass, juniper, and sagebrush on the west side of Rosenbaum Canyon. This fire is now 100 percent lined and in mop-up. Unless the situation changes, this will be the last report on this fire.

Central Oregon District, Prineville Unit:
The Cat Mtn. Fire was reported early Friday evening, August 26th, burning 21 miles northeast of Prineville. At that time, the first was estimated at 13 acres, and firefighters anticipated containing and stopping the fire spread with initial attack resources.

The Johnson Creek #2 Fire, burning near Johnson Creek seven miles east of Prineville, was reported on Thursday evening, August 25th. This fire is at 121 acres this morning, lined and in mop-up, with the line holding. Smoke may be noticeable in the Prineville area from this fire. NOTE: This fire is approximately ½ mile away from an initial Johnson Creek Fire that was contained on Thursday, August 25. Also NOTE: This fire is the same fire as Incident 951-016 and was erroneously reported on twice – once by name and once by number – in the ODF Fire Update of Friday, August 26th.

Because of the conditions in many of Oregon’s forests due to the seasonal hot and dry weather, Regulated Use Restrictions are in place and increasing throughout most locations in the state. Please check with your local ODF office before heading out to recreate or engage in other forest activities, so that you are aware of these restrictions and what they mean to you and your use of Oregon’s forests.

In the past few days, several large fires have broken out in Oregon. Many of the fires were caused by lightning, and most of the fires are east of the Cascade Range. Two of these fires have large-fire interagency Incident Management Teams assigned/enroute.

More information on many of these large fires is available on the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center's web site at .

The Hancock Fire Complex (Incident #511), a group of fires burning around Clarno, had moderate growth yesterday and is now approximately 17,000 acres. Approximately 285 personnel are currently assigned to this fire, which the Central Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team (COIMT) – a Type II Team (Incident Commander Mark Rapp) - assumed command of at 6:00 a.m. PDT on Friday morning. The team is working to get internet and phone connections established. Until then, information on this fire – and other fires in Central Oregon - will continue to be provided through the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center at , PH: 541/416-6811.

Several fires on the Warm Springs Reservation are part of the newly named High Cascades Complex. The Oregon-California Interagency Incident Management Team (ORCA), a Type II Team, will assume command of this complex this morning. Information for these fires is now available at 541-553-8190.

For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, , or to the national Incident Information System website, .

The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. However, because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies commonly work closely together.

This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected land, and on the department's role as a partner in fighting major fires that start on land protected by other agencies.

Fire statistics are for the current year and the average over the past 10 years for the 16 million acres of private and public forestland protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry:

January 1, 2011, through today:
Lightning-caused fires: 75 fires burned approximately 263 acres
Human-caused fires: 312 fires burned approximately 420 acres
Total: 387 fires burned approximately 684 acres

10-year average (January 1 through the present date in the year):
Lightning-caused fires: 273 fires burned approximately 20,686 acres
Human-caused fires: 520 fires burned approximately 3,557 acres
Total: 788 fires burned approximately 24,243 acres

Jeri Chase, Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

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Comments and questions

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 mountain snowpack. It didn't take long for that to melt and vegetation to dry out due to a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather over the summer. As forest fuels dried, fires started and spread, many from lands adjacent to those protected by ODF, such as the Chetco Bar Fire in Curry County. That one fire accounted for 46% of the 47,537 acres of land protected by ODF which burned in 2017. Of fires originating on ODF-protected land, 95% 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.


About Me

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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.