Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land has officially ended in all of Oregon as cooler temperatures and moister conditions settle over much of the state. This late in the fall, a key source of ignitions is fire escaping when piles of woody debris are burned. Care is required with that activity at any time of year.
































Monday, May 21, 2012

Fire Season Goes Into Effect in Klamath and Lake Counties on Friday


Fire officials in Klamath and Lake Counties will officially declare fire season beginning Friday, May 25, 2012 at 12:01 A.M. on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Klamath-Lake District. Walker Range Fire Protective Association has a fire season declaration underway as of Monday, May 21.This affects all private, county, state forestlands, and those Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands under contract and agreements east and west of Highway 97 in Klamath County.

“Conditions have reached the stage where regulatory fire prevention measures are beneficial in the reduction of the potential of human caused fires at this time of year,” said Greg Pittman, Klamath-Lake District Forester with the Oregon Department of Forestry. “By implementing these annual fire restrictions and promoting public awareness about fire prevention, we can reduce the likelihood of fire problems.”

The “Fire Season in Effect” declaration puts into place regulations restricting debris burning and forest operations. Wildland and structural fire protection agencies in Klamath and Lake Counties have agreed to prohibit all outdoor debris burning. Forest operations that require a Permit to Operate Power Driven Machinery now are required to have Fire tools, on-site water supply, and watchman service on privately owned forest land.

In addition to the “Declaration of Fire Season”, ODF and the Klamath Resource Area of the Bureau of Land Management will be placing the Klamath River Canyon area from the Keno Dam to the State Line in a “Regulated Closure” effective Friday May 25.

The closure stipulates the following conditions for public use:

1) Possession of the following fire-fighting equipment is required while traveling in the forest, except on state and county roads: an axe, a shovel, and one gallon of water or one 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.

2) Smoking in wildland areas is permitted only in enclosed vehicles on roads. Smoking is prohibited while working or traveling in an industrial operation area.

3) Open fires, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, are permitted only at posted and designated sites.

4) Non-Industrial Chainsaw usage is prohibited between 1 P.M. and 8 P.M.

5) Fireworks usage is prohibited within the Closure Area.

The Klamath River Canyon has been placed under this Regulated Closure due to its lower elevation, drier fuels, and steep terrain. The Klamath Falls Interagency Fire Center website: http://scofmp.org/kfifc/kfifc.shtml  is available to assist in keeping people informed of current and changing conditions for the Klamath region. Walker Range Patrol Association can be contacted at 541-433-2451.

Greg Pittman / Randall Baley, Oregon Department of Forestry Klamath-Lake District
RD Buell, Walker Range Fire Protective Association
 
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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: 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, in the summer of 2017 a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather created conditions that dried forest fuels, allowing fires to start and spread. The result was more than a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.Ninety-five percent of these 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.