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

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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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.

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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.