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, September 6, 2011

Red Flag Warning - eastern Multnomah south to Lane County

The National Weather Service office in Portland has issued a Red Flag Warning for high fire potential in eastern Multnomah County, Clackamas County, Marion County, Linn County and eastern Lane County. The warning is in effect from midnight Tuesday until 11:59 Thursday night.


The next thermal trough entering Oregon is expected to develop over southern Oregon Tuesday night and move north through Wednesday into the foothills of the Cascades. Wind gusts of up to 25 mph are predicted – with some gusts anticipated to reach 35 mph near Mt. Hood.

The thermal trough is expected to stress all three points of the ‘wildfire triangle’ – very high temperatures, very low humidity and wind gusts; some thunderstorm activity is expected to generate dry lightning as well, increasing the potential for wildfire growth throughout the region.

The National Weather Service issues Red Flag Warnings & Fire Weather Watches to alert fire agencies of the onset, or possible onset, of critical weather and dry conditions that could lead to rapid or dramatic increases in wildfire activity. During these times extreme caution is urged by all residents, because a simple spark can cause a major wildfire.

A Red Flag Warning is the highest fire forecast warning issued by the National Weather Service to warn of conditions that are ideal for wildland fire ignition and propagation. When humidity is very low, wildland fuels are extremely dry and when high winds are accompanied with multiple lightning strikes, the Red Flag Warning becomes a critical statement for firefighting agencies, which often alter their staffing and equipment resources dramatically to accommodate the forecast risk.

To the public, a Red Flag Warning means high fire danger with increased probability of a quickly spreading vegetation fire in the area within 24 hours.

Kevin Weeks
Oregon Department of Forestry

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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: 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, 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.





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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.