Current situation

Widespread rain and unseasonably cool temperatures in Oregon have dampened existing fires and prevented new ones, easing the strain on firefighting resources. At the same time, wet conditions are making it harder on firefighters trying to remove equipment and repair the impacts from suppression efforts. In steep areas that burned earlier this summer, mudflows, rockslides and fire-weakened trees falling are concerns.






















Friday, June 28, 2013

ODF Weekly Fire Summary for week ending June 28, 2013

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) weekly fire summary update for the week ending Friday, June 28, 2013.

FIRES ON ODF PROTECTED LANDS
No new fires 10 acres or larger have been reported during the past week on lands protected by ODF.

ODF PERSONNEL ASSIGNED TO OTHER STATES
Fifty-five ODF personnel are currently fighting fires in other states. These include:
35 in Alaska
13 in New Mexico
6 in Colorado
1 in Arizona

Also, ODF Incident Management Team 1 (Incident Commander: Tom Savage) has recently been dispatched to manage a complex of fires in the area of Tok, Alaska. Those personnel are expected to arrive in Alaska and assume command of that complex as soon as possible. Seven members of this team were already separately dispatched to assist elsewhere in Alaska and will be re-assigned to join their team on the Tok complex; this team dispatch represents an additional 26 ODF fire management team personnel.

ODF and its sister agencies in the other western states routinely share firefighting resources as needed. The arrangement is reciprocal: If ODF needs outside help on fires in Oregon, its partner agencies will provide personnel and equipment when possible. While employees are assigned to fires in other states, they are paid by the jurisdictional agency on the fires. ODF considers out-of-state deployments a valuable opportunity for its firefighters to maintain and develop their skills required for national certification.
  Jeri Chase, ODF Public Information Officer Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403  

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wildfire danger rising as Fourth of July approaches

Summer has been delayed but not denied. Though cool, damp weather calmed wildfire activity across Oregon in recent weeks, fire danger is forecast to rise with the temperature over the Fourth of July holiday. The Oregon Department of Forestry urges recreationists heading to the woods to be mindful of common fire causes: off-road driving and riding, campfires, smoking and, of course, fireworks.


Even if the forest is not bone dry by Independence Day, the 1,200-degree-plus temperatures generated by fireworks can ignite grass, tree needles and brush nearly instantly. Please leave the fireworks at home over the Fourth.

Four-wheel-drives, ATVs and motorcycle pose a threat as well. From only a few seconds of contact with dry grass, their exhaust systems can start a smoldering burn that may flare into a wildfire minutes or even hours later. Stay on established roads and trails, and park on gravel surfaces or developed roadside pull-outs to avoid this fire scenario.

As the weather warms and dries, fire safety restrictions in the forest may change. These include rules for campfires, off-road vehicle use and other activities. Check the rules before you go.

For more fire safety tips, visit: Keep Oregon Green, http://keeporegongreen.org/.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Worthington Road Fire in SW Oregon stopped at 94 acres

The 94-acre Worthington Road Fire reported Saturday in the Southwest Oregon District two miles east of Eagle Point is fully lined and in mop-up. The fire is burning in grass, oak and pine fuels. Cause is under investigation.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Worthington Road Fire burning in SW Oregon District

The 40-acre Worthington Road Fire was reported Saturday afternoon burning in the Southwest Oregon District. Cause is under investigation. No additional details are available at this time.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

ODF’s South Fork Forest Camp hosts fire school training

ODF’s South Fork Forest Camp plowed new ground hosting a two-week Fire School last month to prepare for this year's fire season. Traditionally, South Fork has held a one-week fire school to train up to 200 inmates so they can become certified wild land fire fighters and assist with Northwest Oregon Area and statewide fire suppression efforts. The two week fire school concept came about as an attempt to improve the quality of training - reducing class by training half the inmates each week, letting the other half continue their regular project work on State Forest Lands.



Training included class time and learning stations for pumps, hoses, mop up, fire shelters and line construction. In addition to training 210 inmates from South Fork Forest Camp and the Mill Creek Facility in Salem, crew bosses, safety officers, food unit leaders, corrections kitchen coordinators and inmate kitchen crew also received training.



The ODF and Department of Corrections staff at South Fork Camp worked collaboratively to pull off a very successful fire school, highlighting the important cooperative relationship between the two agencies in wild land fire suppression readiness.



Friday, June 14, 2013

Week ending June 14, 2013


FIRES ON OREGON DEPT. OF FORESTRY-PROTECTED LANDS

No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported this week on ODF-protected lands.

ODF sent Gordon Foster Sr. to the Crowley Incident where he is serving as a Liaison Officer.

ODF also sent Rory Collins, DFPA, to the Iron Springs Fire in AZ to serve as Air Tactical Group Supervisor June 11th.

ODF sent a strike team of fire engines to New Mexico June 4 to assist on wildfires burning there; they are still assisting this week.

ODF and other western states routinely share firefighting resources as needed. This is an opportune time for the department to send the strike teams, as fire activity in Oregon is currently moderate. And the arrangement is reciprocal: If ODF needs outside help on fires in Oregon, its partner agencies will provide personnel and equipment when possible.

FIRES ON OTHER LANDS

BLM – The lightning-caused Crowley Creek Fire located 20 miles SE of Riverside, OR., is 12,935 acres and 60 percent contained. It is adjacent to the 6,613-acre lightning-caused Stockade Fire, also 60 percent contained. Both fires are being managed by a single IMT Type 3.
BLM – The lightning-caused South Fork fire located 23 miles SE of Vale, OR, is 250 acres and 100 percent contained.
FIRE STATISTICS

Fire statistics are for the current year and the average over the past 10 years for the 16 million acres of private and public forestland protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.


January 1, 2013, through today:*
Lightning-caused fires: 45 fires burned 18 acres
Human-caused fires: 189 fires burned 847 acres

Total: 234 fires burned 865 acres


10-year average (Jan. 1 through the present date in the year):
Lightning-caused fires: 17 fires burned 17 acres
Human-caused fires: 101 fires burned 282 acres

Total: 118 fires burned 299 acres

Fire statistics can be accessed any time from the ODF website.

*When personnel are heavily engaged in firefighting activities, the latest information may not always appear in the statistics.





Monday, June 10, 2013

ODF firefighters perform initial attack on New Mexico fires

An Oregon Department of Forestry strike team of fire engines dispatched to New Mexico last week is seeing lots of action fighting wildfires in the Bernalillo area outside of Albuquerque. On arrival the strike team, consisting of 10 ODF and three Coos Forest Protective Association personnel with five fire engines, was immediately assigned to initial-attack operations.

A rash of fires across the state has spread local resources thin. Prior to the Oregon team's arrival, New Mexico was making do with only one fire engine per million acres. 

While in New Mexico, the crews will be paid by the jurisdictional agency on the fires. ODF considers the out-of-state deployment a valuable opportunity for its firefighters to maintain and develop their skills required for national certification.

Friday, June 7, 2013

ODF fire engine strike team arrives in New Mexico, will deploy to fires today

The crews of the ODF fire engine strike team assigned to New Mexico June 4 to assist on wildfires burning there have arrived. The team, consisting of 10 ODF and three Coos Forest Protective Association personnel, flew down, while their five fire engines are being trucked to a staging area near Albuquerque. One engine has arrived and the rest are expected this morning.

ODF and other western states routinely share firefighting resources as needed. This is an opportune time for the department to send the strike teams, as fire activity in Oregon is currently moderate. And the arrangement is reciprocal: If ODF needs outside help on fires in Oregon, its partner agencies will provide personnel and equipment when possible.

While in New Mexico, the crews will be paid by the jurisdictional agency on the fires. ODF considers the out-of-state deployment a valuable opportunity for its firefighters to maintain and develop their skills required for national certification.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

ODF sends strike team to assist on fires in New Mexico

The Oregon Department of Forestry sent a strike team of fire engines to New Mexico June 4 to assist on wildfires burning there. Five ODF fire engines were trucked to a staging area near Albuquerque. The crews are scheduled to fly down to pick up their engines on June 7 and will be deployed immediately to fight fire.

ODF and other western states routinely share firefighting resources as needed. This is an opportune time for the department to send the strike teams, as fire activity in Oregon is currently moderate. And the arrangement is reciprocal: If ODF needs outside help on fires in Oregon, its partner agencies will provide personnel and equipment when possible.

While in New Mexico, the crews will be paid by the jurisdictional agency on the fires. ODF considers the out-of-state deployment a valuable opportunity for its firefighters to maintain and develop their skills required for national certification.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Beacon Hill fire burns 115-acres in SW Oregon District


The 115-acre Beacon Hill Fire damaged one home and burned an outbuilding above Grants Pass in the Southwest Oregon District last weekend.

Sparks from a car driving on Interstate 5 may have started the fire in the brush along the base of Beacon Hill.

The dry conditions caused the flames to race up the hill and consume heavy brush at the top.

On Saturday the fire was in mop-up status.
Cause of the Beacon Hill Fire continues to be under investigation.

(Information from the Mail Tribune.)


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, even in non-drought years Oregon's warm, dry summers create conditions that allow for fire to start and spread. In an average summer firefighters still see almost a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.



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.