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.
































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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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.