Current situation

Gov. Kate Brown focused Oregon's attention on the active wildfire situation in Oregon at a morning news conference in Portland today. ODF's Chief of Fire Protection Doug Grafe and other state agencies shared how they are responding to the wildfire emergency the Gov. declared Wednesday.

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

Friday, July 26, 2013

Lightning ignites scores of new fires

Human-caused fires were the focus earlier this week with the Stagecoach and Sunnyside Turnoff fires, but lightning returned to center stage Friday morning in the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southern and Eastern Oregon Areas. The Southern Oregon Area reported approximately 60 new lightning-started fires. In Douglas County alone, more than 200 lightning strikes were recorded. Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA) firefighters have located eight fires thus far and expect to find more as reconnaissance continues. DFPA and other local fire departments are battling the fires.

The Klamath-Lake District in the Eastern Oregon Area received lightning across both its Klamath and Lake units. ODF fire managers are conducting aerial patrols this morning to locate any new fire starts. The Fremont-Winema National Forest and the Sheldon-Hart National Wildlife Refuge reported a total of two new fires on their lands.

ODF prepositioned extra firefighting resources in both areas ahead of the anticipated lightning to enable rapid initial attack on any new fires.

Firefighters in northern Klamath County on Wednesday continued to make progress on the 330-acre Stagecoach Fire burning about eight miles northeast of Gilchrist. The fire, burning on Bureau of Land Management and Walker Range Forest Protective Association lands, is now 70 percent contained. It was human caused.

The 48,916-acre Sunnyside Turnoff Fire burning on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation at Eagle Butte Lookout remains at 40 percent containment. The fire was human caused. More information is available at:

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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

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.


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.