Lightning is largely absent from Oregon this week. However, warm, dry weather will greet the hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving to see the eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21. Avoiding activities that can spark a wildfire is key to making the eclipse a safe and pleasant experience for all. One measure adopted to reduce the risk of wildfire is a temporary ban, now in effect, on all campfires in state parks





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.

FIRES BURNING ON OTHER LANDS
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: http://nwccweb.us/information/fire_info.aspx

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Comments and questions

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: information@odf.state.or.us.

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. There are about 30.4 million total 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.