Current situation

Welcome rain and cooler temperatures early this week have reduced fire danger in Oregon. The change in weather has also helped check the growth of many existing fires and allowed firefighters to increase containment levels.

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,

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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 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.


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.