Current situation

Fires in the Garner Complex in Josephine County have burned close to a 1,000 acres since Sunday. ODF Incident Management Team 2 has taken command of the Complex to allow the Southwest Oregon District to focus on dozens of other lightning-sparked wildfires. While temperatures in many parts of Oregon won't be quite as hot today, conditions are drier than normal for this time of year. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 99% of Oregonians live in areas that are abnormally dry or in moderate drought, with southeast Oregon already in severe drought.

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

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fire Restrictions in NE Oregon update

As of Thursday the 27th, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest moved to Phase A of the Public Use Restrictions for federal forestlands in NE Oregon. Due to cooler nights and better humidity recovery in the evenings, light fuels such as grasses have reduced fire danger; especially early in the day. Heavy fuels, limbs and logs, remain extremely dry and by the middle of the afternoon all fuels have dried and returned to a high fire danger level.

All partners in Oregon forest fire safety – the U.S. Forest Service, BLM, local fire districts and Oregon Department of Forestry officials urge the public to be engaged-conscious, cautious and careful with fire.

Kent Connaughton, Regional Forester for the Pacific Northwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service added: “In an active fire season, we need our firefighters available and ready to respond. Every fire that’s prevented helps firefighters remain available, rested, and safe. As always, our highest priority remains public and firefighter safety.”

Under Phase A of the Public Use Restrictions chainsaw use is permitted for firewood by the public. However, campfires are still limited to developed recreational sites. For a complete list of regulations and developed recreation sites on the Wallowa-Whitman, please visit the Forest Orders webpage at

Private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry remain under a regulated closure which prohibits:

• Open fires, including camp fires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires except at designated locations.

• Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all terrain vehicles (ATVs), is prohibited except on improved roads.

• Non-industrial chainsaw use and fire wood cutting.

On September 25th, the Wallowa-Whitman changed from Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) 4 to IFPL 3 for commercial forest operations. A complete description of the change can be found at


Jamie Knight, ODF LaGrande Unit
Matthew Burks, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest

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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

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.