Current situation

Gov. Kate Brown focused Oregon's attention on the active wildfire situation in Oregon at a morning news conference in Portland today. ODF's Chief of Fire Protection Doug Grafe and other state agencies shared how they are responding to the wildfire emergency the Gov. declared Wednesday.

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

Friday, September 21, 2012

Daily Fire Update for Friday, September 21, 2012.

The fire danger level on many forestlands in Oregon is still extreme. A few fire prevention tips for private forest landowners and operators: 1) monitor weather conditions – such as humidity and wind – and consider earlier close-downs if the weather warrants it; 2) keep equipment in good working order and free from flammable debris, as well as parking it away from flammable material when shutting down for the day; 3) Fire Watches – stay on high alert; and 4) be prepared by performing daily checks of suppression and communications equipment.
For the public, campfires are still an issue in many areas. Open fires, including campfires, are prohibited on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. On forestlands or in areas when campfires are allowed, they should be put completely out before leaving the campsite. To do so, drown the fire with an abundance of water, stir and separate the hot coals, and drown again until all of the heat has been removed.
No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported over the past 24 hours on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.


The lightning-caused Bald Mountain Fire, which started on September 18 and is burning 12 miles southwest of Enterprise in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, is approximately 600 acres and uncontained. Trail closures are in place and visitors are advised to contact the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, who is managing this fire, prior to entering the area.

The lightning-caused Trail 2 Fire, burning in the Metolius Bench Area, is 139 acres and 50 percent contained. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is leading the suppression effort.

The Pole Creek Fire, burning six miles southwest of Sisters, is 25,553 acres and 40 percent contained. Active fire behavior produced smoke columns on the southwest side of the fire early in the day yesterday and from the north side late in the afternoon. There is a RED FLAG WARNING in effect from this evening through Saturday evening for the fire area due to potential for thunderstorms producing abundant lightning later today and tonight. The Incident Management Team (Oregon Interagency IMT 4; Incident Commander Brian Watts) that is managing operations on this fire will host camp tours at the Command Post at the Sisters Rodeo Grounds on Saturday, September 22, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The public is welcome to come and see how an Incident Management Camp operates. More information on this fire is available on Inciweb at: .

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.

Jeri Chase, ODF Public Information Officer Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

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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

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.