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.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Upper Applegate Fire Burns 2.5 Acres

A fire broke out shortly after 2:00 p.m. Tuesday in the 7000 block of Upper Applegate Road. The first firefighters on scene reported that a car, an outbuilding and some trees were afire, and the fire was spreading up a hill. ODF and US Forest Service engine crews, and firefighters from Applegate Valley Fire District #9 stopped the wildfire at 1/2 acre.

Two hours later, firefighters responded to a wildfire that was also in the Upper Applegate Road area, 1/4 mile from the earlier fire. The second fire was determined to have been caused by firebrands from the earlier fire.

Three helicopters dropped water from buckets onto the second fire while engine crews and other firefighters, assisted by the bulldozer from ODF's Medford Unit, constructed fireline around the fire's edge. By nightfall, the fire had been significantly cooled down, and a Jackson County Community Justice crew completed the fireline and continued mopping up hot spots. The Community Justice crew left the fireline at 3:30 a.m. today.

The second fire was contained at 2 acres. Crews will be working on these fires today, continuing to mop up up remaining hot spots.

Other ODF engine crews will continue to mop up slash piles that burned west of Trail on Tuesday. The cause of the fires remains under investigation

Brian Ballou
Oregon Department of Forestry / SW Oregon District

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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.


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.