Current situation

Widespread rain and unseasonably cool temperatures in Oregon have dampened existing fires and prevented new ones, easing the strain on firefighting resources. At the same time, wet conditions are making it harder on firefighters trying to remove equipment and repair the impacts from suppression efforts. In steep areas that burned earlier this summer, mudflows, rockslides and fire-weakened trees falling are concerns.






















Friday, June 29, 2012

Wildfire summary - Week ending June 29, 2012

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire update for the week ending Friday June 29, 2012. During the early part of the wildfire season, updates will be sent only when significant fires occur. A weekly summary will be sent on Fridays.


FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS:
During the past week, six ODF districts reported a total of 10 fires to the Salem Coordination Center: Southwest Oregon District, five fires, each less than an acre; Douglas Forest Protective Association, one fire less than an acre; South Cascade District, one fire less than an acre; Central Oregon District, two fires totaling about one acre; Walker Range Forest Protective Association, one fire less than an acre.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION:
For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, www.nwccweb.us/ , or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38

ABOUT THIS UPDATE:
The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon.

However, because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies commonly work closely together. This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected land, and on the department's role as a partner in fighting major fires that start on land protected by other agencies.

FIRE WEATHER
Expect to see a little more rain on Saturday across much of the state. Things will dry out later on Sunday. There is some threat of thunderstorms on both sides of the Cascade Mountains on Saturday and Sunday, but any lightning will be accompanied by rain. For current fire weather information, go to: www.oregon.gov/ODF/FIRE/fire.shtml

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wildfire summary - week ending 06-22-12

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire update for the week ending Friday June 22, 2012. During the early part of the wildfire season, updates will be sent only when significant fires occur. A weekly summary will be sent on Fridays.

FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS:
During the past week, five ODF districts reported fires to the Salem Coordination Center: Forest Grove District, one fire; North Cascade District, one fire; Southwest Oregon District, three fires; Klamath-Lake District, two fires; and the Douglas Forest Protective Association, 15 fires. All of the fires were stopped at small size, most at one acre or less.

Additional information about fires on lands protected by ODF can be found on the ODF Wildfire Blog: http://wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com/

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION:
For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, www.nwccweb.us/ , or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38

ABOUT THIS UPDATE:
The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon.

However, because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies commonly work closely together. This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected land, and on the department's role as a partner in fighting major fires that start on land protected by other agencies.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Douglas in fire season, SW Oregon on Wednesday



Fire season on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Southwest District begins Wednesday June 20 just after midnight. The fire danger level is currently “low” (green) but will move to “moderate” (blue) on Wednesday. Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will be Level 1. The declaration affects state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Fire season restrictions that will go into effect on June 20 are as follows:

-- Debris burning will be prohibited, except burn barrels for which a burn permit has been obtained from ODF. Burn barrel use will be completely prohibited beginning July 1;

-- The use of fireworks on forestlands will be prohibited;
-- In the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River between Grave creek and Marial:

• Camp fires must be in fire pans or on a fire blanket that is placed on sand or gravel bars between the river and the high water mark, and only in areas which are naturally free of flammable vegetation.;

• Smoking will be permitted on sand and gravel bars between the river and the high water mark, and only in areas naturally free of flammable vegetation, or in boats and rafts while on the river;

• Fireworks will be prohibited;

• Travelers must carry a shovel and a bucket with a capacity of at least one gallon;

-- Commercial operations, such as timber harvesting conducted on forestlands will be required to have fire suppression equipment on the job site at all times. A watchman must also be provided.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire season regulations in SW Oregon please contact the Medford or Grants Pass Unit. Additional information for the district is also available on SWOFIRE -- http://swofire.blogspot.com/

On Saturday, Douglas County lands protected by the Douglas Forest Protective Association entered fire season. The start of fire season means the end of unregulated outside debris burning for Douglas County residents. Burn permits will be required and available until June 30th 2012. Residents need to check with their local fire departments for burning restrictions within their fire districts. It also activates industrial fire restrictions on all private, county, state and BLM lands.
Smoking is prohibited while working on, or traveling through, an industrial forest operation and a fire watch service is required at all forest operation sites. As fire season progresses, additional closures and restrictions may be imposed as weather conditions become more severe.

For further information on fire restrictions and forest closures on lands protected by DFPA, call the Closure Information Line at 541-672-0379. For other business, call the DFPA headquarters at 541-672-6507.

ODF Public Affairs Office

Red Flag conditions for Malheur on Monday


The National Weather Service in Boise issued a Red Flag Warning on Sunday for Oregon’s Malheur County, continuing until 6:00pm Mountain Time on Monday.


The warning for increased fire potential was the result of a dry cold front Sunday that created high wind gusts of up to 45 mph forecast for Monday morning, with relative humidity as low as 9 percent in some areas, creating a potential for fire growth should an ignition occur.

The National Weather Service issues Red Flag Warnings & Fire Weather Watches to alert fire agencies of the onset, or possible onset, of critical weather and dry conditions that could lead to rapid or dramatic increases in wildfire activity. During these times extreme caution is urged by all residents, because a simple spark can cause a major wildfire.

A Red Flag Warning is the highest fire forecast warning issued by the National Weather Service to warn of conditions that are ideal for wildland fire ignition and propagation. To the public, a Red Flag Warning means high fire danger with increased probability of a quickly spreading vegetation fire in the area within 24 hours.

Kevin Weeks
Oregon Department of Forestry

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fire update - week ending June 15, 2012


During the past week, 3 ODF Districts across the state responded to 8 fires. All fires were stopped before reaching 10 acres, causing damage to a total of about 7 acres of land. No fires larger than 10 acres in size on ODF-protected lands were reported to the Salem Coordination Center.

Kevin Weeks / Oregon Department of Forestry, Public Affairs Office

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Oregon supplying assistance to wildfires in other states



Fifteen Oregon Department of Forestry fire specialists have been deployed this week to assist fire suppression efforts in Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.

The largest commitment, 13 ODF specialists and the five fire engines they staff, were deployed to New Mexico to battle a series of fires that have consumed 343,000 acres of the state since mid-May. The fire engines were shipped on flatbed trucks, while the firefighters flew to New Mexico to be reunited with their fire apparatus on Thursday.

These assignments are helping Oregon fire personnel gain additional experience and keep current their national firefighting qualifications. ODF incurs no financial drain by assisting other states, since the jurisdictional agency hosting fire suppression operations pays the bills. As Oregon enters summer weather conditions, ODF’s fire managers will begin to pull back their personnel from the out-of-state assignments to be ready for wildfires here at home.

Kevin Weeks / Oregon Department of Forestry, Public Affairs Office

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Burn ban starts June 16 for Linn, Benton and Marion counties


A ban on all open and backyard burning will take effect on Saturday, June 16, in Linn, Benton and Marion counties. The Oregon Department of Forestry and the fire defense boards of the three counties announced the ban, which aims to reduce the incidence of open debris burns escaping control. The restrictions will extend through October 15 or later, depending on fire danger.


“A lot of green-up is occurring due to the current weather patterns,” said Mike Beaver, Linn County Fire Defense Board Chief. “We expect this to result in heavy fuel loading for the grass models as temperatures rise and the fuels dry out.”

The open burning restrictions coincide with the current air-quality rules set forth by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Those rules already forbid open burning within three miles of cities over 1,000 in population and six miles from cities over 50,000 in population after June 15. These burn restrictions expand the geographical scope to include areas outside the three- and six-mile limit.

Benton County Fire Defense Board Chief Rick Smith urged the public to take note of the upcoming multi-county-wide, residential burn ban starting on June 16.

“We hope this ban on residential burning spurs increased public awareness of wildfires and what people can do to help protect their own property,” Smith said. “The work that a property owner does now to maintain a defensible space around their property will make the difference between losing a home or structure, and keeping their valuable investment intact during a wildfire event.”

The fire defense board chief encouraged property owners to explore other options during the burn ban. Alternatives to burning include: chipping, hauling debris to recycling centers, and composting. All of these options are now available to the public year-round.

Rural fire agencies and the Oregon Department of Forestry have the authority to enforce and regulate the burn ban. Under Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 477, ODF may issue citations for violation of the burning restrictions.

For more information on the open burning restrictions as well as advice on safe debris disposal, contact the nearest Oregon Department of Forestry office or the local fire department.

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Week ending June 8, 2012

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire update for the week ending Friday, June 8, 2012.


During the early part of the wildfire season, updates are sent only when significant fires occur and a weekly summary is sent on Fridays.
FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS

SW District had 5 fires for 9 acres, Coos had 1 fire at .01 acre, and Douglas had 2 fires at .02 acres.

FIRES ON OTHER LANDS

No new fires reported on other land jurisdictions in Oregon.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION

For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, www.nwccweb.us/, or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38.

ABOUT THIS UPDATE

The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. However, because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies commonly work closely together.

This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected land, and on ODF’s role as a partner in fighting major fires that start on lands protected by other agencies.

FIRE STATISTICS

Fire statistics are for the current year and the average over the past 10 years for the 16 million acres of private and public forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry:

January 1, 2012 through today

Lightning-caused fires: six fires burned approximately one acre

Human-caused fires: 80 fires burned approximately 171 acres

Total: 86 fires burned approximately 172 acres



10-year average (January 1 through the present date in the year)

Lightning-caused fires: 16 fires burned approximately seventeen acres

Human-caused fires: 92 fires burned approximately 241 acres

Total: 108 fires burned approximately 258 acres



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

ODF fire update for the week ending June 1, 2012


FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS
During the past week, three ODF Districts across the state responded to 10 fires. Each was stopped at less than 10 acres. About two acres of land burned in total. Two ODF personnel – an air tactical group supervisor and a dozer boss - are currently deployed to Arizona to assist on large wildfires there.

Currently the risk of large fires in heavy fuels is low due to the fuel moisture levels. But increasing winds east of the Cascades over the weekend could propel fires in lighter fuels and brush. See “Fire Weather” below for more information.

FIRES ON OTHER LANDS
No new fires reported on other land jurisdictions in Oregon.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION
For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, www.nwccweb.us/, or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38.

ABOUT THIS UPDATE
The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. However, because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies commonly work closely together.

This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected land, and on ODF’s role as a partner in fighting major fires that start on lands protected by other agencies.

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.





Followers

About Me

My photo
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.