Cooler temperatures and higher humidity with light rainfall this past weekend in many areas of the state have helped firefighting efforts. Lightning is less of a concern this week but humans causing new fires remains a top concern. Gov. Kate Brown announced over the weekend that she is authorizing Oregon National Guard personnel to help fire suppression efforts near Crater Lake National Park.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lightning creates multiple fires for Forestry crews in eastern Oregon

Despite rainy, cooler weather is western Oregon, fire conditions are still volatile in central and eastern Oregon. Oregon Department of Forestry crews in eastern Oregon were kept busy by several new fires Saturday.

The Hall Hill Two fire was the largest, estimated at 17 acres, burning in brush, timber and juniper about three miles west of Prairie City. This lightning-caused fire was reported Saturday night. Five ODF engines, two crews, water tender and bulldozer all responded to the fire. This fire was fully contained by Sunday afternoon. ODF crews were assisted on the Hall Hill Two fire by resources from the Prairie City Rural Fire District and the U.S. Forest Service.

ODF Central Oregon District resources also responded to 3 small fires in the region: a lightning-caused fire near Ritter that was held to under an acre, a lightning-struck tree afire north of Mount Vernon and a one-acre fire northeast of Monument, the cause of which is currently under investigation.

Two new large-acreage fires were also reported burning Saturday on Bureau of Land Management lands; a fire burning 13 miles south of Dayville and a 1,000 acre fire 29 miles northwest of Fields in Harney County.

Kevin Weeks
Oregon Department of Forestry

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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: 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, even in non-drought years Oregon's warm, dry summers create conditions that allow for fire to start and spread. In an average summer firefighters still see almost a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.



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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. There are about 30.4 million total 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.