Current situation

Fires in the Garner Complex in Josephine County have burned close to a 1,000 acres since Sunday. ODF Incident Management Team 2 has taken command of the Complex to allow the Southwest Oregon District to focus on dozens of other lightning-sparked wildfires. While temperatures in many parts of Oregon won't be quite as hot today, conditions are drier than normal for this time of year. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 99% of Oregonians live in areas that are abnormally dry or in moderate drought, with southeast Oregon already in severe drought.

Many ODF districts and forest protective associations have raised their fire danger level and tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at

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

National weather forecasters are predicting the summer of 2018 will see above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Drought has already been declared in a number of counties in eastern and southern Oregon, with northwest Oregon also unusually dry for June. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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.