Current situation

Winter and spring see lots of controlled burns in Oregon to eliminate piles of woody debris left over after logging or thinning. Embers buried in the ashes of these pile burns can sometimes reignite even days after a fire appears to be out, especially if winds blow away ashy debris. The same winds can then fan smoldering embers back to life. That's why it's a good idea to keep checking old pile burns to ensure no hot spots have rekindled.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oregon Department of Forestry Wildfire Update - Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire update for Wednesday, August 24, 2011.

Forest Grove District: The Rock Creek Fire, reported Monday afternoon burning near Highway 18 in Yamhill County in grass and brush is contained at slightly under 10 acres. The fire has been in patrol status yesterday and today, with no evidence of smoke or flame. Unless the situation changes, this will be the final report on this fire.

Central Oregon District, John Day Unit: The 276-acre Theimer No. 2 Fire, nine miles north of Burns, was contained on August 23. About 109 acres within the fire perimeter were Harney County lands protected by ODF, 70 acres on BLM lands, and 98 acres of U.S. Forest Service lands. The fire in 100 percent lined and in mop-up. Unless this situation changes, this will be the final report on this fire.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect until 11 p.m. tonight for lightning and outflow winds over parts of the ODF Southwest Oregon and Klamath-Lake districts. A Red Flag Warning is also in effect until 11 p.m. tonight for parts of the Central Oregon and Northeast Oregon districts for abundant lightning.

In anticipation of these predicted weather events, yesterday the Central Oregon and Northeast Oregon districts requested and pre-positioned extra engines and resources, so that they could be quickly mobilized for initial attack activity. These resources are funded with special monies allocated by the Oregon Legislature for these types of situations.

Because of the conditions in many of Oregon’s forests due to the seasonal hot and dry weather, and increasing possibilities for thunder and lightning activity, 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.

The 1,000-acre Elk Fire, reported Monday, August 22, is burning on Bureau of Land Management and non-ODF-protected lands four miles west of Madras. The Governor invoked the Conflagration Act on Monday evening, August 22, allowing additional resources for structure protection. Because of significant progress that was made on this fire throughout Tuesday, the State Fire Marshal task forces from Clackamas and Marion counties turned the structural protection for this fire over to Jefferson County RFD #1 at 8 p.m. last night. The fire was 100 percent contained by 9 p.m. last night. Initial reports indicate that the fire was started from an escaped debris burn in the area. Unless the situation changes, this will be the last report on this fire.

The 1,500-acre Free Bridge II Fire, located six miles south of the mouth of the Lower Deschutes River (River Mile 6), was 80 percent by last night. All campgrounds along the Lower Deschutes River in this area remain open. Unless the situation changes, this will be the last report on this fire.

Another fire, Incident #430, burning approximately nine miles southeast of Arlington, was also contained this on Tuesday evening at 1,328 acres. Unless the situation changes, this will be the last report on this fire.

Firefighters responded and worked overnight on a new fire start, Incident #440, located three miles south of Bend in a lava field east of the Deschutes River. The fire burned approximate 60 acres in a in a 70-acre island of ponderosa pine, completely surrounded by the lava field. Today, plans include cleaning up the remaining 10 acres that did not burn and continuing mop up of the edge of the fire where it approached the lava flow. A Type III helicopter will be available today to provide bucket drops of water to help with mop-up efforts. Smoke from this fire is likely to be visible from Bend, Highway 97 and recreation sites in the area for several days.

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.

Jeri Chase, ODF Public Affairs Specialist
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.