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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shadow Lake Fire - closure areas reduced

Source: Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

Yesterday, the closure areas were reduced around the Shadow Lake Fire due to the wet, cooler weather and the hard work of fire crews to secure the fire line. The cooler temperatures have also allowed the Deschutes and Willamette National Forests to resume management of the fire.

“The reduced area closure opens up some popular roads and recreation sites,” said Randy Harbick, Fire Management Officer for the McKenzie River Ranger District. “However, since we will still have fire crews and some equipment finishing rehabilitation work, please drive carefully if you visit the area.”

Popular areas now open include:
• Big Lake Campground (in a no services status)

• Big Lake Youth Camp

• Potato Hill/Jack Pine area

• Dry Creek Trailhead

• Belknap and Little Belknap Crater

• Lakes south of Corbett Sno-Park

• Forest Service Road 500

Popular areas that remain closed include Big Lake West Campground, Forest Service Road 810, the Patjens Lake Trail, a portion of Dry Creek Trail and a section of the Pacific Crest Trail. The closure area is subject to change, but due to continued hazards from snags and hotspots within the fire some form of closure will likely remain through the winter.

For more information on the Shadow Lake fire and to view the updated closure map, go to  or visit the websites of the Willamette National Forest ( ) and the Deschutes National Forest ( ). More information is also available by calling the Sisters Ranger District (541-549-7700) and/or the McKenzie River Ranger District (541) 822-3381.

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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.

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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.