Current situation

ODF's Southwest Oregon district has become the first to announce it will be declaring the start of fire season restrictions beginning Friday, June 1. The district has already reported having 34 wildfires burning 35 acres. Two-thirds (26) were caused by humans.

Statewide, the number of wildfires now exceeds 100, with 124 acres burned.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, a time when homeowners are urged to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfire around their house and other structures. Among these are clearing debris from roofs and gutters, cutting back brush from around structures, and removing lower branches from trees.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Prescribed Burn at the Oregon Garden aims to re-create oak savannah

The Oregon Department of Forestry issued this news release yesterday.

For immediate release
Major media distribution
September 20, 2012
Kris Babbs, 503-945-7444,
Rod Nichols, 503-945-7425,

Firefighters will shift roles and set a fire at The Oregon Garden. A prescribed burn to remove excess vegetation will be conducted on Sept. 24 by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), The Oregon Garden and Silverton Fire and Rescue.

“This burn of a 12-acre unit within a grove of white oaks is the second phase of a project begun last year,” said Oregon Department of Forestry’s Chris Paul.

The earlier work reduced overgrown vegetation through manual brush removal, tree pruning and herbicide treatment. The aim of the ongoing project, he said, is to create conditions characteristic of the original oak savanna, a lightly forested grassland dominated by oak trees.

The burn will be ignited around 1 p.m. and is expected to be completed in about two hours. It will be staffed by the agencies’ firefighters to contain it within the boundaries of the unit. ODF meteorologists are monitoring weather and wind conditions to minimize smoke intrusion into Silverton. The prescribed burn will be rescheduled if conditions aren’t optimum on Monday.

He said forest fuels such as Himalayan blackberry, Scotch broom and other non-native and invasive plant species will be removed to encourage the growth of camas and other native plants and grasses.

The burn will be visible from the deck of The Oregon Garden Fire Safety House, a new life-sized exhibit that features fire-safe home construction material and design improvements, fire-resistant landscaping plants, and a self-guided interpretive tour on how to reduce the surrounding fuels that could cause a wildfire to encroach on a home.

“Silverton residents and visitors to The Oregon Garden should expect smoke in the area during ignitions and as the fire smolders down,” he said.

The forester advised residents who are sensitive to smoke or have pre-existing respiratory problems to limit their outdoor activities on the day of the burn, particularly during the afternoon, and to keep windows closed. More information about how to limit exposure to smoke is available at:

The prescribed burn will also serve as a training tool for firefighters to work with live fire and hone their skills in wildfire suppression tactics.


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

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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

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.


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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.