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

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Labor Day weekend fire safety tips

Don't let these cool mornings and shorter days fool you: Forests across a significant portion of the state are in high wildfire danger. For recreationists headed to the woods over the Labor Day Weekend, basic precautions can make your outing a safe and enjoyable one.

Check current restrictions: Public and corporate forest landowners generally try to offer as much recreational access to the forests as possible. For that reason, the restrictions on campfires, off-road driving and riding, and other activities in the woods can change frequently as fire conditions evolve. Be sure to check with the land management agency or landowner before you head out.

Fire safety tips: The common recreational causes of wildfires are easy to prevent:

- Campfires: First, check whether campfires are allowed where you plan to camp. If they are, go to the Keep Oregon Green Association website, , for practical tips on building and maintaining a campfire.

- Off-road vehicle use: Dry grass or brush can ignite if it comes into contact with the exhaust system of a four-wheel drive, quad or motorcycle. Stay on established forest roads and trails during this time of high wildfire danger.

- Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in most wildland areas. A cigarette discarded in dry grass, leaves or needles can smolder for hours and eventually flare up into a wildfire.

"The Oregon public has done well this summer exercising fire safety caution in the forest," said Tom Fields, fire prevention coordinator with the Oregon Department of Forestry. "Let's all continue that good record through the Labor Day holiday."


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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.