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

Friday, August 26, 2011

Oregon Department of Forestry Wildfire Update - Friday, August 26, 2011

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire update for Friday, August 26, 2011.

Over the past 24 hours, lightning continued to move through Oregon, including systems through western Oregon, starting near Eugene, that moved northeast through Wasco County/Cascade crest, out of Oregon into central Washington, and then veering south into Oregon again into portions of Umatilla County. Precipitation accompanying this lightning was variable. More lightning and thunderstorms are in the weather forecasts for parts of Oregon from today through Sunday.

The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center has reported this morning that there have been more than 196 new fire starts since the in initial lightning storm passed through southern/southeastern, central, and northeast Oregon on Wednesday afternoon and evening. The majority of these fire 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 the lightning earlier this week, as well as on new fire starts due to the lightning from last night/early this morning, in addition to monitoring those fires that have been contained and are in patrol status.


Central Oregon District, John Day Unit, Fossil Sub-Unit:
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 active and estimated at 100 acres. Resources assigned to this fire have included one engine, one air tanker, and one dozer.

The Cobb Saddle Fire was reported in the morning on Thursday, August 25, burning at the bottom of a local landmark know as Hells Half Acre in grass and timber in steep terrain. The fire was last reported at 16 acres, active, and 45 percent lined. Resources assigned to this fire have included one engine, two air tankers, one helicopter, and one dozer.

The 29-acre Murphey Mt. Fire, near the north fork of the John Day River, reported early on Thursday, August 25, burned in grass and timber in steep terrain on ODF protected lands. At this time, this fire is mopped up. Unless the situation changes, this will be the last report on this fire.

Central Oregon District, Prineville Unit:
The Johnson Creek #2 Fire, burning near Johnson Creek seven miles east of Prineville, was reported on Thursday evening, August 25. This fire is at 122 acres this morning, lined and in mop-up. 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 that this fire was also reported in previous iterations of our wildfire information as Incident 951-016.  Incident 951-016 was named and is the same fire as Johnson Creek #2.

The Allen Creek Fire, reported on Wednesday evening, August 24, 13 miles south of Mitchell, burned 47 acres in grass, brush, and pine. This fire was 100 percent lined and controlled by last night. Unless the situation changes, this will be the last report on this fire.

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.


The Hancock Fire Complex (Incident #511), is the largest fire currently burning in Oregon. The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center reported this morning that the complex, “is a group of five fires burning more than 15,000 acres around Clarno. These fires are burning on both sides of Highway 218 and on both sides of the John Day River. The eastern-most fire triggered the safe evacuation of approximately 55 young campers Wednesday 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. Campers have not yet returned to the Field Station.

"The Central Oregon Type II Incident Management Team (Mark Rapp) assumed command of the fire at 6:00 a.m. this morning and is busy assessing the wildfire and bringing in additional resources. Currently more than 100 firefighters are working, including two hotshot crews (Prineville and Union), one 20-person hand crew, 15 engines, and more resources are on the way. The Hancock Fire Complex a typical rangeland fire that moves quickly through light grass and shrub but dies down overnight when temperatures cool. Fire crews will focus on finding and suppressing hotspots in the cooler evening and morning hours when fire behavior is lower and will continue to construct and hold containment lines throughout the day.”

The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center also reported this morning: “Firefighters on the Warm Springs Reservation have been busy over the past several days responding to new wildfires as well. The Seekseequa Fire burning near the Metolius Rim is 1,000 acres this morning, and the West Hills Fire, burning near the city of Warm Springs is approximately 300 acres this morning. A new fire, the Antoken Fire, is burning about 500 acres on the northeast side of the reservation. No structures are threatened with any of these, and there are no estimates of containment at this time. Information on these fires will available at 541-553-2413.

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 # 503-370-0403

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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.