Current situation

Fires in the Garner Complex in Josephine County have burned close to a 1,000 acres since Sunday. ODF Incident Management Team 2 has taken command of the Complex to allow the Southwest Oregon District to focus on dozens of other lightning-sparked wildfires. While temperatures in many parts of Oregon won't be quite as hot today, conditions are drier than normal for this time of year. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 99% of Oregonians live in areas that are abnormally dry or in moderate drought, with southeast Oregon already in severe drought.

Many ODF districts and forest protective associations have raised their fire danger level and tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oregon Department of Forestry Wildfire Update for Thursday, August 25, 2011

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire update for Thursday, August 25, 2011.

A lightning storm passed through much of southern/southeastern, central, and eastern Oregon throughout yesterday and the evening, resulting in more than 8,500 lightning strikes across those areas during the 24-hour period from midnight on the 24th to midnight on the 25th. Precipitation during these storms was variable, from areas that received heavy rain and hail, to portions of Oregon that received no rainfall.

Central Oregon District, John Day Unit: The 10-40 acre Murphey Mt. Fire, near the north fork of the John Day River, was reported early this morning, burning in grass and timber in steep terrain on ODF protected lands. At this time, this fire is uncontained, with extended attack expected. Two engines and one crew are currently assigned to this fire.
Nine fire starts were reported as a result of lightning strikes on this unit.

Central Oregon District, Prineville Unit/Sisters Sub-Unit: The 29-acre Johnson Creek Fire, six miles northeast of Prineville, was reported late last night, burning in grass, juniper, and pine. This fire is 100 percent lined and contained, and in mop-up status today. Unless the situation changes, this will be the only report on this fire.

The 25-acre Allen Creek Fire, burning 13 miles south of Mitchell, was also reported last night, burning in grass, brush, and pine. Line is currently being completed on this fire, with 100 percent line anticipated to be in place by the end of the day, as well as beginning and continuing mop-up activity.

There were 11 reported fire starts from the lightning that move through the area on this Unit/Sub-Unit.

Northeast Oregon District, Pendleton Unit: The 69-acre Tunnel Canyon Fire, burning 10 miles north/northwest of Ukiah, was reported late yesterday evening, burning grass and scattered timber in steep and rocky terrain. A minor amount of rain was received in the area, contributing to help stop the spread of this fire, which is currently in mop-up status. Today, two engines and two 10-person Snake River Correctional Center Crews are assigned to this fire.

A Red Flag Warning was issued for 12 p.m. – 11 p.m. PDT due to abundant lightning (with some expected rainfall) over parts of northeast Oregon, southwest Washington, and central/eastern central Oregon.

Because of the conditions in many of Oregon’s forests due to the seasonal hot and dry weather, and the continuing probability of 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 largest new fire in Oregon is the Hancock Fire (Incident #511). The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center reported this morning that this fire is “burning more than 10,000 acres east of Clarno. The fire triggered the evacuation yesterday of the Hancock Field Station, a 10-acre science camp run by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry located one mile east of Clarno. The fire is a typical rangeland fire moving quickly through light grass and shrub. Resources on scene include four engines and the Prineville Hotshot crew.”

This fire is burning on BLM-protected lands and unprotected private rangelands. The Central Oregon Incident Management Team (COIMT – Type 2 Interagency Team) - Incident Commander Mark Rapp - has been ordered, and will be arriving and receiving an in-briefing on this fire later today.

Incident #440, located three miles south of Bend near Lava Butte Lookout, was contained last night at 47 acres. Smoke from this fire is likely to continue to be visible from the area for several more days, as interior fuels continue to smolder. Unless the situation changes, this will be the last report on this fire.

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, Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager # 503-910-2419

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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

National weather forecasters are predicting the summer of 2018 will see above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Drought has already been declared in a number of counties in eastern and southern Oregon, with northwest Oregon also unusually dry for June. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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.