Current situation

Sunny and dry conditions again prevail across Oregon this week. Mild temperatures will give way to warmer conditions, melting snow and drying fuels faster. This will raise fire risk across the state. There have already been twice as many wildfires on ODF-protected land compared to the same time last year, with more than twice as many acres burned.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, a time when homeowners are urged to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfire around their house and other structures. Among these are clearing debris from roofs and gutters, cutting back brush from around structures, and removing lower branches from trees.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Regional fire officials issue critical fire weather alert for Oregon

Source: NW Coordination Center Portland

Fire Management Analysts for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center want to alert the public of rapidly changing fire weather and fuels conditions. Seasonal drying of forest fuels coupled with an extremely unstable air mass has set up over the region creating the potential for explosive fire behavior in Oregon and Washington.

A series of thermal troughs (areas of hot, dry, unstable air), are expected to settle over the region rapidly drying vegetation. Windy conditions associated with the thermal troughs have caused the National Weather Service to issue Red Flag Warnings effective on Sunday over much of the Oregon and Washington Cascades, including the Gifford Pinchot and Mt Hood National Forests, adjacent Bureau of Land Management lands, and communities through out Oregon and Washington.

High temperatures and low relative humidity will quickly increase fire danger in vegetated areas that were green and moist only a short time ago.

Expect wildfires to ignite easily, spread rapidly and burn with great intensity. This alignment of forecasted weather, dry fuels and wildfires has the potential to create critical safety concerns for our firefighters and the public. The safety of firefighters and public remain our first priority.

Over the next week, it will be essential to monitor current and forecasted weather, gather updated information for ongoing fire activity, and maintain situational awareness whether visiting the forest or at home in the Wildland Urban Interface.

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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.