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, October 5, 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012

Although autumn has arrived, weather conditions in Oregon are still creating high wildfire potential across the state.


In Southern Oregon, there will be a slight cooling trend but high temps will remain above normal and the air mass will remain very dry. In NE Oregon forecast calls for very dry and locally breezy conditions both today and Saturday, especially along the east slopes of the Cascades and in the Columbia River Gorge. In NW Oregon there are red flag warnings in effect for most areas this afternoon.

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.

The Pole Creek Fire, burning six miles southwest of Sisters in mature timber and down, bug-killed timber, is 26,510 acres, and 85% contained. The east side of the fire was relatively calm yesterday as crews have completed most of the fire suppression objectives. Very little smoke was observed near the fire perimeter. All of the planned fire line construction has been completed; crews will continue to patrol the area for the next few days. Along the northern edge of the fire, excess fire hose and equipment is being back-hauled to camp to return to Redmond Fire Cache. This area is in patrol status.

There may still be periods of time when smoke concentrations become uncomfortable. Those with respiratory issues may wish to consult the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality website for tips on smoke mitigation:

Residents are reminded that we are still in fire season and this fire is not contained. Due to hunters in the woods and continued dry conditions, new fire starts are a possibility and citizens should monitor available information sources and stay alert. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Full containment is expected by October 15. For more info: 541-549-6935.

The lightning-caused Bald Mountain Fire, which started on September 18 and is burning in sub-alpine fir 12 miles southwest of Enterprise in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, has been mapped at 1,009 acres and is uncontained. Minimal fire behavior reported last night. 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.