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.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

2pm Update - Steward Ditch 2 fire

Steward Ditch II fire - 4 miles east of Dayville

Last night, two dozers worked late to put a fire line around 70% of the fire.  Crews experienced good recovery in relative humidity (a measurement of the amount of moisture in the air), which caused fire activity overnight to moderate.  This morning, dozers and crews were back out to start putting in a containment line around the fire perimeter.  The east flank of the fire is still considered open line (a place where there hasn’t been any fire line built).  A local fire management team, made up of personnel from Oregon Department of Forestry, the Malheur National Forest, and the Umatilla National Forest, assumed command of the fire at 8:30 this morning.  The Incident Command Post is located at Oregon Department of Forestry office, 415 Patterson Bridge Road. 

Public Safety Message: Highway 26 is currently open. The public is urged to watch for fire traffic around milepost 136, near Prairie Trout Farm. Lighted highway signs have been set up to caution people as the drive through.

Special Prevention Message: It is important that landowners and the public understand what fire season means on lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry. At this time burning is not allowed, other than in a burn barrel with a valid permit. Campfire safety must be practiced by making sure your campfire is not left unattended and is dead out whenever you leave it. Also, you need the permission of the landowner before you have a campfire.

About 100 persons are working this fire, which remains at 200 acres and no estimate of containment. This lightning caused fire has cost an estimated $118,000 to suppress thus far.

Angie Johnson
Oregon Department of Forestry / John Day Unit Forester

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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.


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.