Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land has officially ended in all of Oregon as cooler temperatures and moister conditions settle over much of the state. This late in the fall, a key source of ignitions is fire escaping when piles of woody debris are burned. Care is required with that activity at any time of year.
































Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

FIRE WEATHER and FIRE PREVENTION


There was a red flag warning in S. Oregon this morning for strong winds and low relative humidities. In NE Oregon dry northerly flow will persist through early next week which will result in locally breezy northeast winds and low relative humidity each afternoon. In NW Oregon there is a continuing red flag warning for dry east winds. 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.

FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS

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.

FIRES ON OTHER LANDS

The Pole Creek Fire, burning six miles southwest of Sisters, is 26,510 acres, and 85% contained. Most of the fire suppression work today will focus along the western fire edge in the Three Sisters Wilderness. Hand crews have been hiking up to five miles from trailheads to begin their fire line construction duties. Production will increase and exposure to difficult terrain and hazardous snags will be minimized when these hand crews are transported to their work site by helicopters in the morning and flown out in the evening; for some of the hand crews this plan will be implemented starting today.

Three helicopters are also available to cool down any newly-discovered hot spot or assist with any initial attack mission near Sisters outside of the fire area.

Residents are reminded that we are still in fire season and this fire is not contained. Due to an increae in 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: information@odf.state.or.us.

Current wildfire info

Cool, wet weather in the winter of 2016-17 ended Oregon's long drought and left a thick snowpack at higher elevations which will take some time to melt. However, in the summer of 2017 a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather created conditions that dried forest fuels, allowing fires to start and spread. The result was more than a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.Ninety-five percent of these 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.





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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.