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.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lightning brings several fires to Central Ore July 31, evening

FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
For Immediate Release: July 31, 2013 6:30 p.m.
Contact: Media Desk, 541/416-6811 Website:
Follow Us On Twitter: @CentralORFire

Lightning brings several fires to area

Central Oregon – As expected, lightning moving across Central Oregon in the late afternoon kept initial attack firefighting resources busy responding to incidents on state and federal lands.

Crews responded to approximately 29 reports of smoke beginning around 3 p.m. By about 6 p.m. approximately 700 hundred lightning strikes had hit Central Oregon.

Airtankers dropped retardant and engines and crews responded to a fire, approximately 5 miles northeast of Sisters, OR that was threatening structures in the Squaw Creek Canyon Estates on private, state-protected lands. By 6:30 p.m. the crews had put dozer line completely around the fire.

Two small fires, approximately 3 to 4 miles west of the western edge of Cultus Lake, in the Three Sisters Wilderness were being responded to by helicopter rappel crews due to their remote nature. Approximately 4 miles northwest of the western edge of Cultus Lake, smokejumpers responded to a series of small fires around Little Round Top Mountain on the border of the Willamette National Forest and the Deschutes National Forest.

Two fires, one about 3 miles and one about 5 miles south of Lava River Cave, also had crews on them as the afternoon turned to evening. Near Suttle Lake, there was a fire about 2 ½ miles directly north of the lake and another fire approximately 1 ½ miles east of the lake’s eastern edge. Firefighters were responding.

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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.


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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.