Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land ended in most of Oregon last week as cooler temperatures, shorter days and moister conditions settled over much of the state.





























Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dry conditions on season opener mean fire caution for hunters

For the Oct. 1 general big game season opener, predicted dry conditions in most forested areas of Oregon underscore the need for hunters to be fire safety conscious. Even though fall is in the air, careless actions can still spark a wildfire.

Parched grasses, brush and other fine fuels can ignite from a variety of sources – an errant spark from a campfire or warming fire, a discarded cigarette, or a hot exhaust system contacting vegetation. And under fall conditions, these fire starts often don’t become apparent until hours or even days later.

A warming fire built on a hillside in the early morning hours to take the chill off may appear to be out when the hunter eventually moves on. But the ashes can retain heat. On the next sunny day, a little wind can rekindle that “dead” fire and cause it to spread into a wildfire.

The safest place for a campfire is in a campground with established fire pits. Before leaving a campfire or warming fire, be sure to douse it repeatedly with water, stirring the ashes each time to ensure it is completely extinguished.

When driving a full-sized vehicle or ATV in the forest, always carry fire equipment required by the jurisdictional land management agency. And before heading to your hunting location, check the current rules on vehicle use. In some areas, off-road use of motorized vehicles may be prohibited.

Likewise with smoking: Check the rules. Depending on the fire danger level, smoking may be restricted to inside a closed vehicle or building. In any case, never discard smoking materials in grass or other vegetation.

The good news for hunters is that the dry conditions are forecast to change Sunday evening with the onset of rain in many areas.

For additional fire safety tips and current fire restrictions, contact the Oregon Department of Forestry or the Keep Oregon Green Association.

Rod Nichols
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. 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.