Current situation

Fires in the Garner Complex in Josephine County have burned close to a 1,000 acres since Sunday. ODF Incident Management Team 2 has taken command of the Complex to allow the Southwest Oregon District to focus on dozens of other lightning-sparked wildfires. While temperatures in many parts of Oregon won't be quite as hot today, conditions are drier than normal for this time of year. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 99% of Oregonians live in areas that are abnormally dry or in moderate drought, with southeast Oregon already in severe drought.

Many ODF districts and forest protective associations have raised their fire danger level and tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at

Monday, October 24, 2011

2011 fire season ends Oct. 24

Fire season 2011 ended statewide today, when the last Oregon Department of Forestry district remaining in season, Northeast Oregon District, announced its closure.

The season started out slow with a cool, wet spring that delayed the onset of fire activity several weeks. By mid-July when Oregon’s fire season typically hits full stride, 144 fires had burned just 136 acres on the lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) – low numbers compared to the running 10-year average of 388 fires burning nearly 13,000 acres. ODF protects a total of 16 million acres of private and public lands from fire.

By the middle of August, the summer weather pattern had finally set in. But the statistics - 279 fires burning 244 acres – still lagged behind the 10-year mark for that point in the year: 699 fires burning nearly 23,000 acres.

Dry lightning, the cause of most large Oregon wildfires, remained relatively light through mid-summer. Then on Aug. 25 – late in the season for intense thunderstorm activity – an onslaught of 8,500 strikes ignited numerous fires. Aggressive response by firefighters stopped most of the lightning starts on ODF-protected lands, and none of them grew into large fires.

In summary, the generally favorable weather, lack of drought conditions, higher live-fuel moistures across the state (which limited rapid fire growth), pre-staging of key firefighting resources, and an aggressive initial-attack approach led to a successful fire season for ODF, its partner agencies and Oregon’s forest landowners.

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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

National weather forecasters are predicting the summer of 2018 will see above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Drought has already been declared in a number of counties in eastern and southern Oregon, with northwest Oregon also unusually dry for June. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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.