Lightning is largely absent from Oregon this week. However, warm, dry weather will greet the hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving to see the eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21. Avoiding activities that can spark a wildfire is key to making the eclipse a safe and pleasant experience for all. One measure adopted to reduce the risk of wildfire is a temporary ban, now in effect, on all campfires in state parks





Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Red Flag Warning for Columbia Gorge and NE Oregon



The National Weather Service in Pendleton has modified a Red Flag Warning for dangerous fire conditions across north-central and northeastern Oregon, including Hood River County, northern Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Morrow, Umatilla County and northern Wallowa County. The Warning is in effect from 3:00pm until 11pm PDT Wednesday.

Low humidity, high winds and high temperatures will converge to create high fire potential in the region. Wind gusts of 30 mph are predicted with humidity as low as 14 percent RH. Peak winds are predicted for late Wednesday afternoon into the evening.

A Red Flag Warning is the highest fire forecast warning issued by the National Weather Service to warn of conditions that are ideal for wildland fire ignition and propagation. When humidity is very low, wildland fuels are extremely dry and when high winds are accompanied with multiple lightning strikes, the Red Flag Warning becomes a critical statement for firefighting agencies, which often alter their staffing and equipment resources dramatically to accommodate the forecast risk. To the public, a Red Flag Warning means high fire danger with increased probability of a quickly spreading vegetation fire in the area within 24 hours.

Kevin Weeks
Oregon Department of Forestry

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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: information@odf.state.or.us.

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, even in non-drought years Oregon's warm, dry summers create conditions that allow for fire to start and spread. In an average summer firefighters still see almost a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.



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. There are about 30.4 million total 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.