Current situation

Fires in the Garner Complex in Josephine County have burned close to a 1,000 acres since Sunday. ODF Incident Management Team 2 has taken command of the Complex to allow the Southwest Oregon District to focus on dozens of other lightning-sparked wildfires. While temperatures in many parts of Oregon won't be quite as hot today, conditions are drier than normal for this time of year. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 99% of Oregonians live in areas that are abnormally dry or in moderate drought, with southeast Oregon already in severe drought.

Many ODF districts and forest protective associations have raised their fire danger level and tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx





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/.

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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

National weather forecasters are predicting the summer of 2018 will see above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Drought has already been declared in a number of counties in eastern and southern Oregon, with northwest Oregon also unusually dry for June. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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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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.