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.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Daily Fire Update - July 17, 2012


The 25-acre Galilea Meadow Fire reported July 16 burning 14 miles northwest of Ukiah in the Pendleton Unit of the Northeast Oregon District was contained last evening. One helicopter, three fire engines, one fire-person hand crew, one water tender and one bulldozer fought the fire. Two fire engines are conducting mop-up today. Cause is under investigation.
The 8-acre Elk Grove Fire located near the north fork of the John Day River in the Central Oregon District was fully lined on July 16. Cause is under investigation.

The lightning-caused Miller Homestead Fire (Bureau of Land Management) burning west of Frenchglen in brush and grass is now approximately 162,094 acres. An evacuation notice is in place for the community of Frenchglen and South Harney Lake. Prior to entering the area, check for traffic closures or delays. The fire is now 85 percent contained.

The lightning-caused Foster Creek Fire (BLM) burning in grass and sage approximately three miles south of Bridgeport is 1,291 acres and 70 percent contained.

The lightning-caused Lexsfall Fire (BLM) burning in grass and brush approximately 11 miles northeast of Madras is 1,680 acres and 60 percent contained.

The lightning-caused Bonita Complex (BLM) 15 miles northwest of Westfall is 18,188 acres and 100 percent contained. The complex is made up of the Bonita and Iron Fires.

The lightning-caused Long Draw Fire (BLM) west of Basque burning in brush and grass and estimated at 557,648 acres is 100 percent contained.

For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website,, or to the national Incident Information System website,

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

January 1, 2012, through today:
Lightning-caused fires: 24 fires burned 299 acres
Human-caused fires: 169 fires burned approximately 914 acres
Total: 193 fires burned approximately 1,213 acres

10-year average (Jan. 1 through the present date in the year):
Lightning-caused fires: 91 fires burned approximately 12,035 acres
Human-caused fires: 268 fires burned approximately 748 acres
Total: 359 fires burned approximately 12,783 acres

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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:

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.