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.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Updates on central Oregon fires

Source: Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

Two fires are being managed in central Oregon by the Prineville District of the Bureau of Land Management.

Firefighters continued to make progress on the Deadman Canyon Fire on Wednesday and will work over the next several days to construct and improve containment lines around the fire. Fire activity remained low on Wednesday afternoon, with pockets of juniper slash burning inside the fireline. Flame lengths remained between 2-4 feet, allowing firefighters are using a strategy called “direct attack” where they work directly against the fire to build containment lines. Two helicopters supported these efforts with bucket drops.

Containment will remain at 10 percent overnight, with full containment expected by August 5th. The size remains at 3,384 acres on Thursday morning. Approximately 7 structures remain threatened. Highway 293 re-opened Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. People traveling through the area and along Highway 97 should continue to use caution, avoid stopping and watch out for fire vehicles.

Firefighters continue to work on two fires burning on Sutton Mountain in a Wilderness Study Area located 35 miles northeast of Prineville. As of Wednesday evening, the larger of the two Sutton Mountain Fires (Chapman Springs) had grown to 1,000 acres. The fire is burning in a mix of grass, shrub and juniper. The fire is primarily a ground fire with occasional torching of juniper trees. The smaller fire (Incident 322) grew slightly to 500 acres. No structures are threatened with either of these incidents. Access and steep terrain remain a challenge for these incidents. Containment and control of the fire is expected by August 15th.

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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

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.


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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.