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.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Portland Metro area under burn ban

Reminder – burn bans are in effect for the Portland Metro area due to increased fire danger.

During Fire Season no open fires of any kind are allowed; including backyard, agricultural or open burning. This also includes recreational fires, camping fires, or backyard fire pit fires. Gas, briquette, or pellet type barbeques are still allowed but should be used with extreme caution, with extra care given to coal and embers. Generally, no open flame fires will be allowed.

Multnomah County

Due to extreme fire conditions the Multnomah County Fire Defense Board announces the official declaration of a Burn Ban effective September 8, 2011, at 8:00 a.m. Burn Bans are formally declared in Oregon on a County by County basis. This includes the Cities of Portland, Gresham, Fairview, Troutdale, Wood Village as well as Corbett, Sauvie Island and all unincorporated areas of Multnomah County. The burn ban will be in effect until further notice.

Washington County

Due to extreme fire conditions, the Washington County Fire Defense Board has implemented a burn ban effective immediately, September 9, 2011. The burn ban will be in effect until further notice. Following that decision, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue has also banned all outdoor open burning within its jurisdiction, including areas served in Multnomah and Clackamas County.

The Burn Ban includes the following situations:

1. Recreational burning, including cooking fires, and backyard fire pits.

2. Backyard burning

3. Agricultural burning

4. Land clearing or slash burning (not associated with Oregon Department of Forestry jurisdiction)

5. Ceremonial type fires.

Typically, burn bans allow some open burning. Because of dry conditions, high temperatures and winds TVF&R asks than no outdoor burning take place. In these extreme fire conditions, one spark can cause a catastrophic wildfire. Individuals found to be in violation of these requirements during the burn ban, may be held liable for the cost of extinguishment and for any property damage resulting from an illegal fire. The burn ban will remain in effect until cooler temperatures minimize the fire danger.

Clackamas County

Due to extreme fire conditions, the Clackamas County Fire Defense Board is implementing a burn ban (level E) as of 1:00 am, September 7th, 2011. The burn ban will be in effect until further notice. Details regarding this burn ban and what individuals can do to keep themselves and their neighbors safe will be released by or before 9:00 am, September 7th.

This burn ban was put into effect due to the extremely dry conditions, high temperatures, low humidity and winds that the area will be experiencing over the next week. During this burn ban no open fires of any kind are allowed, including recreational fires, camping fires or backyard fire pit fires. Basically, no open flame fires will be allowed until further notice. Gas barbecue’s or pellet-type barbecue’s are still allowed but should be used with extreme caution.

Anyone found to have an open fire during this burn ban will likely have it extinguished by their local fire department and could be issued a citation or warning for this violation.

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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 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.