Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land has officially ended in all of Oregon as cooler temperatures and moister conditions settle over much of the state. With the end of wildfire season in Oregon, firefighting resources are now more available. As a result, several public and private engines and crews have been dispatched to California to assist with the devastating wildfires there.































Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Red Flag Warning on Wednesday across NE Oregon

The National Weather Service in Pendleton has issued a Red Flag Warning for dangerous fire conditions across northeastern Oregon, including the eastern Columbia Gorge, Umatilla County and northern Wallowa County. The Warning is in effect from Noon until 9:00 pm 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.

The National Weather Service issues Red Flag Warnings & Fire Weather Watches to alert fire agencies of the onset, or possible onset, of critical weather and dry conditions that could lead to rapid or dramatic increases in wildfire activity. During these times extreme caution is urged by all residents, because a simple spark can cause a major wildfire.

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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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: 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. 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.





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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.