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.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Douglas Complex management returns to district Monday

Current situation:

Firefighters woke to rain on their tents today, which is good news for those who’ve been working since July 26 to contain the Douglas Complex. Precipitation will certainly speed up the mop up process – stump holes and other dug-in hot spots can be opened up so the rain can cool the embers – reducing the firefighters’ reliance on hoses.

But the rain will cause some problems. Land sloughing and rockfalls will likely occur, and crew supervisors will need to carefully scout their assigned areas and flag the hazards they find – or move their workers to a safer area.

Driving inside the burned area will also be tricky. Many of the dirt-and-rock backcountry roads will be turned into mud by the rain, and most of these roads will have to be avoided. Even the paved roads will need to be scouted, as rocks will invariably tumble off the steep hillsides as burned topsoil sloughs away in the rain. Bigger landslides are also possible, as are isolated flooding problems where debris may clog road culverts.

For detailed information about the road closures in the Douglas Complex area in Douglas County, contact the BLM district office in Roseburg at 541-440-4930.

For road closure information on the Josephine County side of the Douglas Complex, call the BLM’s Grants Pass office at 541-471-6500.

Maps of the road closure areas are posted online at:

Tomorrow, management of the Douglas Complex will be returned to the Douglas Forest Protective Association.

Complex at a Glance

Size: 48,679 acres

Fires in the Complex:

Rabbit Mountain Fire: 23,952 acres

Dad’s Creek Fire: 24,464 acres

Farmer Gulch Fire: 249 acres

Misc small fires: 14 acres

Cause: Lightning on July 26

Containment: 87%

Expected Containment: 9/01/2013

Crews and Equipment:

Crews: 9 Type 2

Helicopters: 2 Type 2 (Medium Lift)

1 Type 3 (Light)

Engines: 28

Dozers: 7

Water Tenders: 4

Total personnel: 648

Estimated Cost: $50.9 million

Local fire activity and fire prevention information online:
Douglas Forest Protective Association

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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 snowpack at higher elevations which will take some time to melt. However, in the summer of 2017 a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather created conditions that dried forest fuels, allowing fires to start and spread. The result was more than a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.Ninety-five percent of these 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.