Current situation

Lightning mainly east of the Cascade crest is a concern through mid-week as it is a key source of new wildfire starts, often in remote and difficult terrain. Firefighters are still battling many large existing fires across Oregon, most of them started by earlier lightning storms.








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.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wildfire update - October 19, 2011

Statewide, only the Northeast Oregon District remains in fire season. While fire conditions have moderated with the onset of fall weather patterns, the combination of a sunny day and wind can quickly dry out fine fuels such as grasses and shrubs and create the opportunity for a wildfire to start. Please be mindful of fire safety when recreating or working in the forest.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fire update, Oct. 12, 2011

No new fires 10 acres or larger have been reported so far this week on the lands protected by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wildfire update - Oct. 9, 2011

The 97-acre Albee Road Fire reported Oct. 8 burning one mile northeast of Ukiah in the Pendleton Unit of the Northeast Oregon District was fully lined on Sunday and in mop-up. Cause of the fire was an escaped debris burn.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fire update - Oct. 7, 2011

No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands during the past 24 hours. With the onset of fall weather patterns statewide, only the Central Oregon District, Northeast Oregon District and Coos Forest Protective Association remain in fire season.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wildfire update for Oct. 6, 2011

No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported in the past 24 hours on the lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. Rain fell yesterday on the Bologna Canyon Fire in the Central Oregon District, aiding firefighters. The fire is currently in mop-up.

With the onset of fall weather patterns, most forest protection districts across the state have ended fire season.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bologna Canyon Fire burns 30 acres in central Oregon

The 30-acre Bologna Canyon Fire reported Tuesday burning on steep terrain nine miles west of Monument in the Central Oregon District is nearly contained. Winds complicated the firefighting effort. The fire is burning in grass, juniper and juniper slash. Resources fighting the fire at the peak of activity included one air tanker, a lead plane (guide to the tankers), two helicopters, four fire engines, a squad of firefighters and a bulldozer. The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management assisted the Oregon Department of Forestry with aerial and ground firefighting resources. Cause of the fire is under investigation.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Daily fire update - Oct. 4, 2011

No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported in the past 24 hours on the lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

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: www.inciweb.org/state/38


For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, www.nwccweb.us/

Kevin Weeks
Oregon Department of Forestry

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

Burn ban released for Washington County

Source: Washington County Fire Defense Board

On Sunday, October 2nd, the Washington County Fire Defense Board will remove the countywide burn ban that has been in place since July.

Although weather conditions have brought about cooler temperatures and some moisture, all Washington County residents are asked to remain cautious when burning and comply with all applicable burning regulations.

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: 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.



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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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.