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.
































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.

Friday, October 19, 2012

ODF Fire Update, Friday, October 19, 2012

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Fire Update for Friday, October 19, 2012. [Note: As fire season winds down across the state, Public Affairs will issue fire updates as needed, rather than daily, until fire season has ended on all ODF-protected forestlands.]


FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS
South Cascade District: The Hilltop Fire was reported at about 5 p.m. on Thursday evening, October 18, burning on ODF-protected lands in rolling terrain of grass and brush, six miles east of Lebanon. The fire burned approximately 16.5 acres, and was controlled and contained before the end of the evening. The area of the fire received a substantial rainfall over the past several hours, and is in monitoring status today. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION
For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, www.nwccweb.us/, or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38.

ABOUT THIS UPDATE
The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. Because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies commonly work closely together.

This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected land, and on the department's role as a partner in fighting major fires that start on land protected by other agencies.
FIRE INFORMATION
News media may contact the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters office for fire information, (503) 945-7200, weekdays during business hours. After business hours and on weekends, media may obtain fire information by calling the Fire Duty Officer pager at 503-370-0403. The Fire Duty Officer will return media pages promptly.
 
Jeri Chase, Fire Information Officer 503-370-0403

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ran ends fire season in parts of Oregon, but danger persists in others

The recent rains ended wildfire season in many ODF districts. But not enough fell east of the Cascades to reduce fire danger substantially there. Human-caused fires are still occurring. Please continue to exercise caution in the forest. And if you are planning to burn yard debris, be sure to check first with your local fire department or the nearest ODF office for rules and guidelines on open burning.

Until fire season ends on all ODF-protected forestlands, ODF Fire Duty Officers will be providing fire updates as needed/incidents occur, rather than providing regular, daily reports.

Jeri Chase, ODF Public Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager # 503-370-0403

Monday, October 15, 2012

Daily fire update - 10-15-12


Weather change welcome, but not a season-ender
The arrival of rainfall over the weekend eased wildfire danger. But as this map shows - http://weather.smkmgt.com/tools/mesowest_maps/images/24hr_precip.htm - southwestern, central and eastern Oregon did not receive enough to end fire season. Human-caused fires are still occurring. We urge Oregonians to continue to exercise caution in the forest.

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
No new fires were reported.

Other fire information
For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center www.nwccweb.us/ - or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38

About this update
This update focuses on fires on ODF-protected lands and fires on other jurisdictions in which ODF plays a significant support role. The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. Because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies work closely together.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Daily fire update - 10-12-12


Fire weather and fire prevention
The extended period of warm, dry weather that has kept firefighters busy may give way to more typical fall conditions this weekend, if the forecast for rain bears out. But for the present, fire danger remains high. An extended period of rain will be needed to substantially lower the risk. Please remain vigilant about fire safety.

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
No new fires were reported.

Other fire information
For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center www.nwccweb.us/ - or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38

About this update
This update focuses on fires on ODF-protected lands and fires on other jurisdictions in which ODF plays a significant support role. The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. Because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies work closely together.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Daily fire update - 10-11-12


Fire weather and fire prevention
The extended period of warm, dry weather that has kept firefighters busy may give way to more typical fall conditions this weekend, if the forecast for rain bears out. But for the present, fire danger remains high. An extended period of rain will be needed to substantially lower the risk. Human-caused fires are continuing to occur, so please remain vigilant about fire safety.

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
No new fires were reported.

Other fire information
For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center www.nwccweb.us/ - or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38

About this update
This update focuses on fires on ODF-protected lands and fires on other jurisdictions in which ODF plays a significant support role. The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. Because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies work closely together.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Daily fire update - 10-10-12


Fire weather and fire prevention
The extended period of warm, dry weather that has kept firefighters busy may give way to more typical fall conditions this weekend, if the forecast for rain bears out. But for the present, fire danger remains high. An extended period of rain will be needed to substantially lower the risk. Please remain vigilant about fire safety.

Outdoor debris burning remains prohibited in most areas throughout the state. Campfires, while only allowed in designated campgrounds, should not be built at all under the current conditions. In addition, motor vehicles are only allowed on improved roads that are free of flammable vegetation. For a complete list of restrictions in specific areas, log on to www.oregon.gov/ODF.

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
No new fires were reported.

Other fire information
For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center www.nwccweb.us/ - or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38

About this update
This update focuses on fires on ODF-protected lands and fires on other jurisdictions in which ODF plays a significant support role. The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. Because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies work closely together.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Daily fire update - 10-09-12


Fire weather and fire prevention
The extended period of warm, dry weather that has kept firefighters busy may give way to more typical fall conditions this weekend, if the forecast for rain bears out. But for the present, fire danger remains high. An extended period of rain will be needed to substantially lower the risk. Please remain vigilant about fire safety.

Outdoor debris burning remains prohibited in most areas throughout the state. Campfires, while only allowed in designated campgrounds, should not be built at all under the current conditions. In addition, motor vehicles are only allowed on improved roads that are free of flammable vegetation. For a complete list of restrictions in specific areas, log on to www.oregon.gov/ODF.

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, six miles southwest of Sisters in mature timber and down, bug-killed timber, is 26,795 acres, and 90 percent contained.

Residents are reminded that we are still in fire season and this fire is not fully contained. Due to hunters in the woods and continued dry conditions, new fire starts are a concern. If you are traveling in the forest, be aware of current fire restrictions and stay alert.

Other fire information
For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center www.nwccweb.us/ - or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38

About this update
This update focuses on fires on ODF-protected lands and fires on other jurisdictions in which ODF plays a significant support role. The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. Because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies work closely together.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

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, six miles southwest of Sisters in mature timber and down, bug-killed timber, is 26,795 acres, and 85% contained. A special flight was conducted last night, which took infra-red pictures showing hot spots within the fire perimeter. A slight increase in burned acreage was discovered along the western edge of the fire in the Three Sisters Wilderness. The fire is burning towards natural barriers of rock. A Type IV Incident Management Team will assume command of the fire tomorrow.

Area closure: An area around the fire remains closed to public access during fire suppression activities. The closure area includes Forest Road 16 (Three Creek Lake), Forest Road 15 (Pole Creek Road), and a portion of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCNST). A reroute is in place for that portion of the PCNST that is closed. Please refer to the website: www.inciweb.org/incident/3244 , for further information.

Residents are reminded that we are still in fire season and this fire is not fully contained. Due to hunters in the woods and continued dry conditions, new fire starts are a concern. If you are traveling in the forest, be aware of current fire restrictions and stay alert.

Unless conditions change, this will be the last status report on this fire.

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. 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.



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.


FIRE WEATHER and FIRE PREVENTION

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.
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 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: http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/wildfire/index.htm

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.



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.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

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.

However, The Buckaroo Creek Fire was reported at 8 p.m. on Tuesday burning 15 miles SE of Pendleton on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (ODF protects those lands) in timber, brush and grass. Strong winds pushed the fire but ODF-Pendleton Unit, CTUIR and BIA firefighters were able to get a line around it at 8.5 acres.
Three ODF fire engines, four CTUIR engines and one BIA engine responded to the fire. Today an Oregon Youth Authority 10-person crew, five engines and a water tender are conducting mop-up. Cause is under investigation.

ODF The Dalles Unit -- The Milepost 66 fire burning in grass, oak and conifer 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.
Yesterday, management of the fire was turned over to the Forest Service who 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

FIRES ON OTHER LANDS
Fire crews made progress yesterday on the Pole Creek Fire, burning six miles southwest of Sisters, and constructed additional fire lines in the northwest corner of the fire.  A heavy-lift helicopter was added to support fire fighters cool down hot spots throughout the fire area.  Together with a medium lift capacity helicopter, both ships worked very effectively as a team in support of on-the-ground efforts to contain the fire.  The fire size is 26,510 acres, and is 85% contained. Fire crews are continuing to hold and mop up along all perimeters of the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Temperatures today are expected to be much lower with the added benefit of an increase in the relative humidity (the amount of moisture in the air).  Fire managers will take advantage of this weather pattern and plan to continue with fire line construction and mop-up operations to meet containment objectives by October 15.  Smoke will continue to be produced from this fire and depending on the wind direction and speed, some communities and areas may be impacted with various amounts of smoke.  Those with respiratory issues may wish to consult the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality website for tips on smoke mitigation, http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/wildfire/index.htm.

Information on this fire can be found in various places including Facebook, Twitter and Inciweb (www.inciweb/incidents/3244>).  All of these information sites will be updated as conditions change. 
Residents are reminded that we are still in fire season and this fire is not contained.  Due to an increase in hunters in the woods and the continued dry conditions, new fire starts are a possibility and citizens should monitor available information sources and stay alert.
Check
www.firewise.org> for tips and techniques to help protect your home from future wildfires.

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.

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.


FIRE WEATHER and FIRE PREVENTION

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.

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.

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


FIRES ON OTHER LANDS

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: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3244/

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.



Monday, October 1, 2012

Red Flag Warning for northern Columbia Basin

The National Weather Service in Pendleton on Monday issued a Red Flag Warning for the northern Oregon Columbia Basin in effect from Noon to 11:00pm Tuesday. High wind gusts with very low relative humidity are forecast, creating increased potential for wildfire ignition and growth.


The Warning covers Oregon Zone 631 – generally, the northern areas of Sherman, Gilliam, Morrow and Umatilla Counties. The strongest winds are anticipated on Tuesday afternoon, with gusts of up to 30 mph expected in some areas.

A Red Flag Warning is the highest fire forecast warning issued by the National Weather Service to warn of conditions that are ideal for wildland fire ignition and propagation. To the public, a Red Flag Warning means high fire danger with increased probability of a quickly spreading wildland fire in the area within the next 24 hours.

Kevin Weeks – ODF Public Affairs Office

Campfires still a problem on forest lands



It’s what keeps foresters awake at night. Somewhere right now, in the almost 30.5 million acres of Oregon forestland, someone has just walked away and abandoned a campfire – even in an area where open campfires are prohibited due to wildfire danger.

“It doesn’t take much to spark a fire this time of year,” says Oregon Department of Forestry’s Fire Prevention Coordinator, Tom Fields. “We’ve been very fortunate so far considering we’ve gone an entire summer with little to no precipitation. Now is not the time to let our guard down and ruin an otherwise successful season.”

Drought conditions across much of the region this summer have sapped trees, shrubs and grasses of moisture, creating a fuel bed primed to burn. It will take more than morning dew or even a brief rain shower to reduce the wildfire hazard.

ODF operates fire patrols daily during the height of fire season, checking designated or informal camp sites to make sure fires are not left unattended. This weekend, ODF crews across northwest Oregon found three abandoned or illegal campfires in the Forest Grove District, one burning in the Astoria District and two campfires – including one that sparked a 20 foot by 20 foot spot fire – burning in the Tiilamook District.

“While we were totaling up the weekend figures,” said Don Everingham, assistant to the Area Director for ODF’s NW Oregon region, “we had reports come in of abandoned campfires that two districts detected on Monday morning and put out.”

ODF’s Southern Oregon Area patrol crews detected 5 campfires that resulted in two small fires over the weekend. The ODF Eastern Oregon Area patrols detected 11 unattended or illegal campfires throughout their region. Illegal campfires, when detected by ODF, are put out and the potential exists for persons found responsible for the campfire to be cited.

First, find out if campfires are allowed in the forest area you plan to camp. Currently, campfires remain prohibited on the 16 million acres of land under ODF protection. When campfires are allowed, they should be monitored at all times; even if a fire is sited and built properly, leaving it unattended even for a few minutes can allow a spark to ignite nearby vegetation. The parched conditions in the forest have left grass, shrubs and trees vulnerable to burn.

When you leave the campsite, put the fire completely out before leaving. To do so, 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.

Fields adds that even if campfires are allowed -- this is not a good time to have one. “We can’t afford to have a careless fire now,” he said.

For additional information and helpful tips on campfire safety, consult the Keep Oregon Green website, www.keeporegongreen.org

Kevin Weeks – ODF Public Affairs Office

Fire danger remains High this week in Oregon



Though the calendar has rolled into October, Oregon is still very much in wildland fire season, with some regions of the state experiencing relative humidity and tree moisture levels at, or near, historic low points.

It is important to stress that the event which draws forest fire season to a close – several days of sustained rainfall throughout the state – is not in the weather forecast for the near future.

High winds are predicted later this week for NW Oregon and the northern Cascade region of the state, prompting several ODF fire protection districts in the northern end of the state to increase readiness, and remind members of the public about fire danger. A dry cold front is expected across Oregon later Monday and into Tuesday; rain is not expected with this weather system but strong winds and cool dry air are forecast, posing potential problems for existing fires and any new potential fire ignitions that occur this week.

For commercial operators on the western side of Oregon, many private and state forest protection zones are entering IFPL Level 3 conditions this week. For updated conditions check the ODF web site: http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/pages/FIRE/precautionlevel.aspx

Open fires, including campfires, are prohibited on all lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, about 16 million acres of private, county, state and Bureau of Land Management (west of the Cascades) forestland. Campfires may be allowed in some designated areas and travelers should check with their local forestry or protection association office for details.

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.

Kevin Weeks - ODF Public Affairs Office

Morning update - October 1, 2012


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 percent contained. Additional fire starts within wilderness areas were detected Sunday; Two Hotshot crews arrived yesterday to begin a direct attack strategy today on the northwest corner of the fire, joining 410 fire fighters remaining on scene. Full containment is expected by October 15. The incident management team transitioned this fire back to local officials Saturday. All major highway routes remain open to Sisters and other central Oregon communities. More information on this fire is available on Inciweb at: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3244/

For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, www.nwccweb.us / - or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38

Kevin Weeks - ODF Public Affairs Office

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 http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/wallowa-whitman/alerts-notices/?cid=stelprdb5228794

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 http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail.wallowa-whitman/home/?cid=stelprdb5228793

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

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.