Firefighting costs

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry has expended a net of $28.9 million for large fires through August 2014. With more wildfire activity possible in the weeks ahead, large-fire costs could grow before season's end.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hood River MP 66 fire is now contained




Hood River, OR – Aided by calm winds, firefighters completed a line around the Milepost 66 fire Thursday afternoon, containing a highly visible blaze along Interstate 84 that began Tuesday night.

The fire, two miles east of Hood River, was contained at approximately 70 acres by about 120 firefighters and two helicopters Thursday. The fire had grown little overnight. The lack of customary Gorge winds was a big help in containing the hillside fire.The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, firefighters responded to two small fires south of Mosier Thursday afternoon. Called the Elder Road fires, one was a quarter-acre in size; the other about three-quarters. Oregon Dept. of Forestry, aided by firefighters from the National Scenic Area, a National Park Service engine and a helicopter, fought the two blazes. Both fires are under investigation.

Another one-acre fire Thursday near the High Bridge on the Wind River in Washington was picked up by crews from the Larch Mountain Honor Camp, the Dept. of Natural Resources and local fire departments. The Wind River fire caused two homes to be temporarily evacuated. It is also under investigation.

The Mark O. Hatfield Trail from Hood River to Mosier remains closed. No structures are threatened. Interstate 84 remains open, though one of the east-bound lanes is closed at milepost 66, just east of Hood River.

The fire crosses several ownership types, and resources from Oregon Department of Forestry, the U.S. Forest Service, and multiple local fire districts are assigned to the fire.

Crews and airships will be back at work in the morning after monitoring the fire overnight.

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Erin Black
Public Affairs Staff Officer
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

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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

Extremely dry conditions exist across most forestlands in Oregon currently. Large wildfires to date this season have been both lightning- and human-caused.

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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. Suppression of large fires can run into millions of dollars.

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Oregon Dept. of Forestry's public information officers maintain this blog. During the wildfire season, we spend much of our time reporting on fires and firefighting to news media and the public.