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.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Morning statewide fire summary - October 3, 2011

Lightning storms that moved through central and eastern Oregon from Nevada on Friday created numerous fires for several jurisdictions on Saturday.
The Hall Hill Two fire was the largest that the Oregon Department of Forestry responded to, estimated at 17 acres burning in brush, timber and juniper about three miles west of Prairie City in Grant County. 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 by resources from the Prairie City Rural Fire District and the U.S. Forest Service.

ODF Central Oregon District/John Day Unit resources also responded to three small fires in the region Saturday: 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.

The Catlow Fire was reported Saturday burning in Harney County about 29 miles northwest of Fields. The fire burned 5,300 acres of brush before being fully contained Sunday by the Bureau of Land Management.

The Murderers Creek Complex fire is located approximately 10 miles south of Dayville on the east side of the South Fork John Day River. This complex fire, made up of three incidents, is 1,090 acres in size on Monday and began Saturday due to lightning. Fire is burning in timber on a mix of ownerships, including some private lands and some BLM ownership, including the Phillip W. Schneider Wildlife Area and the Malheur National Forest. An interagency management team assumed command of the fire Sunday. Hunters and recreationists have been asked to leave the area as a precaution, and FS Roads 2170, 2150 and the road leading into the Phillip W. Schneider Wildlife Area (Murderers Creek Road) remain closed. No estimate on when the fire may be contained.

Other large fires within Oregon have moved into an intermittent reporting status; any new details would be reported through InciWeb at:

For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website,

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:

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.


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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.