Current situation

With fire season ended, most burning in Oregon forestland in the late fall consists of controlled burns to eliminate piles of woody debris left over after logging or thinning. The timing of such burns is carefully regulated to minimize the chance of smoke entering heavily populated areas.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wildfire update - Aug. 23, 2011

The 10-acre Rock Creek Fire reported Monday afternoon burning near Highway 18 in Yamhill County is now in patrol status. Oregon Dept. of Forestry mobilized a helicopter, eight fire engines, two inmate hand crews and one water tender to suppress the fire. One structure was damaged in the blaze. Local rural fire departments assisted in the suppression effort. Fireworks has been determined to be the cause of the fire.

Firefighters are working toward full containment of the 276-acre Theimer No. 2 Fire 14 miles north of Burns. About 108 acres within the fire perimeter are Harney County lands protected by ODF. A pilot car is guiding motorists along Highway 395 between mileposts 53 and 60, due to fire equipment traffic. Cause of the fire has been determined by law enforcement to be arson.

The 1,000-acre Elk Fire reported Monday is burning on Bureau of Land Management and non-ODF-protected lands four miles west of Madras. Structures are threatened, and the State Fire Marshal has mobilized two crews to protect them. The fire is uncontained.

The 170-acre K-N-T Hamlet Fire is burning on the west side of Kah Nee Tah Resort, 10 miles north of Warm Springs. It is currently at 90 percent containment. The fire continues to smolder. Firefighters are continuing with mop-up today.

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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:

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, in the summer of 2017 a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather created conditions that dried forest fuels, allowing fires to start and spread. The result was more than a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.Ninety-five percent of these 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.