Current situation

ODF has been responding to dozens of lightning-sparked wildfires in southern Oregon. Incident Management Team 2 has been dispatched to assist the Southwest Oregon District with the Garner Complex of fires near Grants Pass. Very hot, dry weather today remains a risk for new fire starts and a challenge for suppressing existing fires. 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 http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx




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: http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/pages/FIRE/precautionlevel.aspx

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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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: information@odf.state.or.us.

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.

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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.