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.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

500-acre Pacifica Fire in SW Oregon fully lined

Fire crews working evernight on the 500-acre Pacifica Fire, located near the community of Williams in Josephine County, completed a fireline around the perimeter, stabilizing the wildfire that broke out around 2:30 p.m. Friday. More than 150 structures were threatened by the fire, one home burned as did several outbuildings and vehicles.

The Oregon State Fire Marshal deployed an incident management team and out-of-area structural fire task forces to assist with providing additional structural protection this weekend.

More than 200 firefighters are working on the Pacifica Fire today and the fire camp is set up on the Pacifica property, located on Water Gap Rd. Firefighters plan on mopping up hot spots within 100 of the fireline and 100 feet around structures inside the burned area.

Roadblocks that were set up yesterday on the Williams Highway and Water Gap Rd. have been removed. However, non-residents are asked to avoid the fire area today as many fire engines and heavy equipment will be using the Williams Highway, Water Gap Rd. and Powell Creek Rd.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

[Report provided by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry's Southwest Oregon District.]

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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 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.