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





Monday, August 19, 2013

Government Flat Complex SW of The Dalles is 1,795 acres

August 18, 2013 @ 8 p.m.
Information: 541-298-9899
govflatfire@gmail.com

Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 3 (IC Chris Cline) and Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Green Team (IC John Ingrao) are coordinating fire suppression efforts for the three wildfires comprising the Government Flat Complex approximately six miles southwest of The Dalles. All three fires, Blackburn, Government Flat, and Wells, are lightning-caused fires detected on August 16. All fires are burning in grass, brush and oak, with some Douglas-fir, and ponderosa pine on north-facing slopes.

The Blackburn Fire is approximately 1500 acres burning within the City of The Dalles Watershed on a mixed ownership of private and public land (SDS Lumber, LLC; Bureau of Land Management; and City of The Dalles).

The Upper Mill Creek Road and Reservoir Road, from their junction upstream, are closed to all public access except for area residents.

A Level II Evacuation notification was placed in effect earlier on Sunday for this area. Residents of 35 homes in the Reservoir Road and Upper Mill Creek Road were asked to make final preparations and get SET to evacuate if the need arises. (Level I – Ready; Level II – Set; Level III – Go Now!).

Two outbuildings were confirmed to have been destroyed in the Upper Mill Creek drainage. The outbuildings were not reachable by fire apparatus due to inaccessibility.

The Incident Management teams are coordinating their efforts with Wasco County Sheriff’s Office and the American Red Cross, in the Sheriff’s Level II notification.

Protection of the downstream City of The Dalles water treatment facility and structures in the vicinity of the Blackburn Fire continues to be high priorities for work efforts. The Dalles Public Works Department is working closely with the fire suppression personnel in protecting the Treatment Facility located 1 mile east of the fire.

On the Government Flat Fire, crews are holding the fire within its’ current lines at 229 acres. The Incident Management personnel are expecting the risk of further fire spread to be low.

The Wells Fire remains contained at 66 acres and will continue to be patrolled.

Fire personnel will continue their suppression efforts through the night.

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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: 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.