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

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

ODF fire update - July 30, 2013 afternoon

This is an Oregon Dept. of Forestry (ODF) fire update for the afternoon of July 30, 2013. Southern Oregon continues to be the focus of firefighting activity in the state with numerous large fires burning in the region.


The 21,400-acre, lightning-caused Douglas Complex fires are burning seven miles north of Glendale in Douglas County, and are 2 percent contained.

Additional Homes Evacuated in Josephine County
Josephine County Sheriff issued a road closure order this afternoon due to fire activity in the area. Lower Wolf Creek Road is closed from the town of Wolf Creek to Leland Road. Lower Graves Creek Road is closed from Leland Road to the Rogue River. Josephine County Sheriff's Office also issued an evacuation order for all residences on Lower Graves Creek Road from the Graves Creek Bridge to Leland Road, Lower Wolf Creek Road, and from Lower Graves Creek to Water Tank Gulch. This new evacuation order affects an estimated 30 residences.

Evacuation orders are still in effect for:
* McCullough Creek Road, Reuben Road, and Mt. Reuben Road in Douglas County, and Poorman Creek Road in Josephine County.

Citizens can evacuate to Glendale Elementary School or Josephine County Fairgrounds:

* Glendale Elementary School is located at 100 Pacific Avenue in Glendale.
* Josephine County Fairgrounds is located at 1451 Fairgrounds Road in Grants Pass.

For more information, call Red Cross at 888-680-1455.

Resources include: 38 hand crews, 29 fire engines, 2 bulldozers, 8 water tenders, and overhead personnel. Air Resources: 3 Type 1 helicopters, 5 Type 2 helicopters, and 3 Type 3 helicopters

Big Windy Complex is lightning-caused and burning in steep terrain 25 miles Northwest of Grants Pass. It is located on Medford District Bureau of Land Management lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, is 2,117 acres and threatening 33 structures.

The Big Windy Complex consists of 3 fires: The Big Windy, Calvert Peak, and Jenny Fires. The fires are burning northwest of Merlin, OR, and south of the Rogue River. Fire behavior is active with group torching and short-range spotting. The Jenny Fire is expected to cross the river to the east.

There is extremely limited visibility due to smoke inversion from the Douglas Complex. Pacific NW Incident Management Team 2 assumed command yesterday and the Incident Commander is Chris Schulte. Strategies are being developed for containment lines. Assessing of structure protection needs will continue and line construction will take place as additional resources report to the Complex.

Current resources: One heavy helicopter and one light helicopter are on loan to the Big Windy Complex from the Labrador Fire. There is also one light helicopter assigned. Ground operations: Crews focusing on point protection as needed and working on prepping for fire line construction. Fire crews scouting for potential medivac sites for the helicopters. Cooperating agencies & partners: Oregon Department of Forestry, Medford District BLM, Josephine County, Curry County, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

For more information: 541-471-6620.

 The Brimstone Fire is 1,500 - 2,000 acres and burning in Josephine County northwest of Grants Pass, 10 miles Northwest of Merlin, Oregon. The fire is burning in old growth, logging slash and mixed hardwood conifer stands in steep terrain with rolling debris and falling snags. There is limited visibility and lack of aircraft support due to smoke inversion from the Douglas Complex.

 ODF’s Incident Management Team 3 has been assigned to this fire. There is a low risk of structures burning in this time period and no evacuation orders have been issued. Southerly movement will increase with day time heating; rapid growth will be expected if inversion breaks.

 Resources assigned: 29 handcrews, 8 helicopters, 28 engines, 3 bulldozers, 5 water tenders, plus overhead personnel.

For fire information: 541-479-3842

The Rawhide 2 Fire in Eastern Oregon was reported Saturday burning in grass and timber approximately 7 miles east of Elgin. The 30-acre fire is 90 percent contained.

The Ferguson Mountain Fire in Eastern Oregon, Lake Unit, was reported Sunday; this 15-acre fire is now 100 percent lined.

The 503-acre Davis Creek Fire reported July 28 burning in the John Day Unit of the Central Oregon District was fully lined the same day and is in mop-up. The fire is burning in grass and timber fuels. Cause is under investigation.


The 2,400-acre, lightning-caused Whiskey Complex fires burning in timber six miles east of Tiller on the Tiller Ranger District of the Umpqua National Forest are uncontained. The four fires in the complex were reported July 26. The incident is being managed by a unified command: Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team and the Douglas Forest Protective Association. For more information go to:

The 700-acre, lightning-caused Labrador Fire reported July 26 is burning adjacent to the Illinois River 13 miles NW of Cave Junction near the community of Oak Flat. The lightning-caused fire reported July 26 is burning in the old Biscuit Fire area, which contains a lot of downed, jackstrawed trees and heavy brush. Crews are continuing structural protection and indirect fire line preparation. Trail and road closures are in place. For more information go to:

The 51,340-acre Sunnyside Turnoff Fire burning on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation at Eagle Butte Lookout is 95 percent contained. The fire was human caused. More information is available at:

The 108-acre Browns Creek Fire burning near Browns Creek on Wickiup Reservoir is fully lined. A local incident management team took command of the fire today, using federal, state and contract resources. Forest Road 42 remains closed to allow for helicopter bucket drops on the fire without endangering public traveling on the road. Though firefighters have made good progress on the fire, evacuations of campers in the area remain in place today.

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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.

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.