Lightning is largely absent from Oregon this week. However, warm, dry weather will greet the hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving to see the eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21. Avoiding activities that can spark a wildfire is key to making the eclipse a safe and pleasant experience for all. One measure adopted to reduce the risk of wildfire is a temporary ban, now in effect, on all campfires in state parks





Monday, July 2, 2012

Colorado fires a reminder to Oregonians

The catastrophic wildfires in Colorado and other states serve as a reminder to Oregonians of their individual responsibility to practice wildfire prevention in the weeks ahead. While the current spring-like weather may seem little cause for concern, it can actually lead to human-caused fires.

“When it’s pleasant outside, rather than hot and dry, we’re more likely to head out to the forest,” said Tom Fields, fire prevention coordinator with the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF). “But people may assume that fires can’t occur under these conditions, and that’s where the danger lies.”

As green as the forests and fields appear across much of the state, during the past week 10 fires have occurred on the lands protected by the department. And warmer, drier days are predicted, setting the stage for new fire starts to spread more rapidly.

Before traveling to the forest to recreate, check to see if there are any fire restrictions in effect. For the 16 million acres of forest under ODF’s jurisdiction, go to:

http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/FIRE/precautionlevel.shtml

The web page lists fire restrictions district by district for the entire state.

Fire safety tips for camping and recreating in the forest are available on the Keep Oregon Green Association website, http://www.keeporegongreen.org/, and from other wildfire prevention agencies and organizations, as well as local fire departments.

ODF assists on wildfire next to office
When the Chenowith Rim Fire broke out July 1 in the Columbia Gorge, ODF's unit office in The Dalles sent four fire engines, a five-person hand crew and a bulldozer to assist other fire agencies fighting the fire. They didn't have far to go: The 70-acre wildfire burned within 200 feet of the unit office. The blaze caused no damage to the building.

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Have a question/comment about this season's wildfire activity on the 16 million acres of private and public forestlands that the Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects from wildfire? Let us know. Please keep your remarks civil and free of profanity.

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. There are about 30.4 million total 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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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.