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.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

NW Oregon increases fire safety precautions

Continued warm, dry weather has prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) to increase fire safety restrictions in the Northwest Oregon Fire Protection District, and to caution recreationists to be careful with fire on and around state, private, and BLM forestlands.

ODF’s Northwest Oregon Fire Protection District – which includes Clatsop County, Columbia County, Tillamook County, western Washington County and the northwest portion of Yamhill County bordered by Hwy 47 and Hwy 18 – implemented Regulated Use Closure safety requirements on Wednesday August 8 at 1:00 a.m.

Effective August 8, in areas of these counties under ODF fire protection:

1. Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles driving on improved roads.

2. Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated locations. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.

3. Chainsaw use is prohibited.

4. Use of motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads. Under current conditions, this restriction is waived for designated OHV trails in the Jordan Creek Basin, Rogers Basin, Trask Basin, Diamond Mill OHV Area, Nicolai Mountain OHV area, and in the BLM Nestucca Motorcycle Trail Area.

5. Possession of basic firefighting equipment – one shovel and one gallon of water or a 2.5 pound or larger fire extinguisher -- is required while traveling, except on state highways, county roads and driveways.

6. Use of fireworks is prohibited.

7. Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited.

8. Use of exploding targets is prohibited

The State Forester or an authorized representative may, in writing, approve a modification or waiver of these requirements. For additional information about fire conditions in NW Oregon, you can contact a local ODF office near you—

Forest Grove 503-357-2191

Astoria 503-325-7215

Tillamook 503-842-2545

Columbia City 503-397-2636

Current fire safety restriction information for areas under ODF protection is available on the web at:

At this time of year, fire conditions and public use regulations are subject to change on short notice. To obtain the most current information prior to going into the woods, contact the nearest Oregon Department of Forestry office. A list of the offices can be found at:

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:

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.