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.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fire danger remains High this week in Oregon

Though the calendar has rolled into October, Oregon is still very much in wildland fire season, with some regions of the state experiencing relative humidity and tree moisture levels at, or near, historic low points.

It is important to stress that the event which draws forest fire season to a close – several days of sustained rainfall throughout the state – is not in the weather forecast for the near future.

High winds are predicted later this week for NW Oregon and the northern Cascade region of the state, prompting several ODF fire protection districts in the northern end of the state to increase readiness, and remind members of the public about fire danger. A dry cold front is expected across Oregon later Monday and into Tuesday; rain is not expected with this weather system but strong winds and cool dry air are forecast, posing potential problems for existing fires and any new potential fire ignitions that occur this week.

For commercial operators on the western side of Oregon, many private and state forest protection zones are entering IFPL Level 3 conditions this week. For updated conditions check the ODF web site:

Open fires, including campfires, are prohibited on all lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, about 16 million acres of private, county, state and Bureau of Land Management (west of the Cascades) forestland. Campfires may be allowed in some designated areas and travelers should check with their local forestry or protection association office for details.

On forestlands or in areas when campfires are allowed, they should be put completely out before leaving the campsite -- 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.

Kevin Weeks - ODF Public Affairs Office

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Have a question/comment about this season's wildfire activity on the 16 million acres of private and public forestlands that the Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects from wildfire? Let us know. Please keep your remarks civil and free of profanity.

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.