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.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fire Update for Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Despite entering October and autumn being underway, weather conditions in Oregon are still creating high wildfire potential across the state.


A dry cold front pushed across the region earlier this morning. This will bring a cooler but very dry air mass into the Southern Oregon area. A red flag warning is in effect for north central Oregon west of Pendleton this afternoon; breezy to windy conditions are expected as northerly winds increase during the day and into the evening. These weather conditions in various areas of the state pose possible problems for any new potential fire ignitions that occur this week.

Campfires are still a concern in many areas. Open fires, including campfires, remain prohibited on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. 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.

A few fire prevention tips for private forest landowners and operators:

1) Monitor weather conditions – such as humidity and wind – and consider earlier close-down of operations if the weather warrants it;

2) keep equipment in good working order and free from flammable debris, as well as parking it away from flammable material when shutting down for the day;

3) Fire Watches – stay on high alert; and

4) Be prepared by performing daily checks of fire suppression and communications equipment.


No new fires 10 acres in size or larger on ODF-protected lands were reported to the Salem Coordination Center during the past 24 hours.

ODF The Dalles Unit -- The Milepost 66 fire burning 2 miles east of Hood River reached full containment on Thursday. The fire, now mapped at 60 acres, has solid containment boundaries around it and is currently 70 percent controlled.

Today, crews with Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and ODF, respectively, will continue to mop up, patrol and rehab as needed. Cause of the fire remains under investigation. For more information: David Jacob – (541) 296-4626


The Pole Creek Fire, burning six miles southwest of Sisters, is 26,510 acres and 85 percent contained. Fire crews are continuing to hold and mop up along all perimeters of the fire. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has removed the Level 2 Pre-cautionary Notice for all Sister’s area residents.

For additional fire information and closure updates contact 541-549-6935, or see Inciweb at:

The Bald Mountain Fire, which started on September 18 and is burning 12 miles southwest of Enterprise in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, has been mapped at 1,009 acres and is uncontained. Trail closures are in place and visitors are advised to contact the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, who is managing this fire, prior to entering the area.

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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:

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.