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





Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hot weekend ahead



Extreme high temperatures predicted for Saturday in Oregon, along with the potential of thunderstorms Saturday night and Sunday, are creating conditions that are rough on people & animals, and optimal for wildland fire ignition and spread.

National Weather Service offices in Portland and Medford are cautioning residents on the western half of the state to expect hot temperatures Saturday, with ranges of 85-95 F for the northern portion of the state, 90-100 F in Douglas County and south, with temperatures potentially reaching 100-105 F around Medford and greater Jackson County. An Excessive Heat Watch is in effect Saturday for several areas.

The National Weather Service in Medford has additionally issued a Fire Weather Watch for Saturday night through Sunday evening, raising concerns that thunderstorms following the extreme temperatures may increase the likelihood of fire ignitions from lightning.

Please be careful with fire and reduce the potential for human-caused fires, both in the forest and wildland-urban interface areas of Oregon.

Kevin Weeks / ODF Public Affairs

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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, 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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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.