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 23, 2012

Wildfire season ends statewide on Oct. 22

It's official: At midnight on Oct. 22 the last Oregon forest protection district went out of fire season, closing the 2012 season statewide. It was a long one. Eighty-plus consecutive days with no significant rainfall extended wildfire activity well into the fall. The last significant fire occurred on Oct. 18, a 16-acre blaze in the South Cascade District.

On the 16 million acres protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, it was an average season. Just under 700 fires burned about 17,000 acres. The running 10-year average is 971 fires burning about 21,000 acres.

But 2012 saw plenty of fire on the rangelands of southcentral and southeastern Oregon. At 557,648 acres, the Long Draw Fire rewrote the record book, racing across the high desert to become the largest blaze in Oregon in more than a century. 

Nearly as big, the Holloway Fire burned 461,047 acres along the border with Nevada. The fire's perimeter included some 245,000 acres burned on the Oregon side. Other large range fires contributed to the total of 1.26 million acres burned on all jurisdictions in the state.

Oregon Department of Forestry firefighters, forest landowners and volunteers with the Rangeland Fire Protection Associations teamed with federal and rural fire departments to minimize the spread of these rangeland fires onto private forestlands.

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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.