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





Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cache Creek fire - Sunday update

Cache Creek Fire Update

Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 3 - Central Oregon
Location: Wallowa and Asotin Counties
Date Started: 08/20/12

Size: 73,300 acres
Percent Contained: 80%

Fire Information Center: 541-432-0163
Inciweb Website: www.inciweb.org/incident/3202

Today, air patrol will monitor along the north and northwest containment lines. On the west, crews will continue to look for opportunities to build direct line and/or burnout steep draws to deepen and strengthen containment lines.

The Wallowa County Sheriff's Department (WCSD) reopened the Lower Imnaha Road/Dug Bar Road (Forest Service Road 4260) this morning. Citizens are asked to consider avoiding this area given the potential congestion from the continuing fire suppression traffic.

Falling timber, rolling debris, and rocks in the fire area make the area unsafe for public activities. A Forest Area Closure remains in place on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. A map and description of the Forest Closure can be found at http://www.fs.usda.gov/wallowa-whitman  or www.inciweb.org/incident/3202  - A partial closure of Forest Service Road 46 remains in place. An alternate route is available to detour around the fire area. Road guards are staffing road blocks limiting public access into the fire area for both firefighter and public safety. The need for the closures will be assessed daily and removed as soon as possible.

Wallowa County's burn ban remains in effect. Local residents and recreationists are encouraged to be vigilant with any source of sparks that may start a fire. Since there are still pockets of heat scattered within the overall perimeter of the fire, residents can expect to see smoke intermittently until a season ending weather event.

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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: 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.



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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.