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 http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx





Friday, August 23, 2013

Government Flats Complex update - Aug. 23, 2013 morning

Morning Fire Update
0730, August 23, 2013
Government Flats Complex

Current Acres:
• 12,023 acres - IR from last night

Current Status:
All the fire received at least 1/10 of an inch of rain early this morning. The fire only grew by a couple hundred acres yesterday, even though the new acreage is nearly 1,000 more than yesterday. Most of the increase is due to mapping differences and the fact that yesterday’s number did not include the other two fires in the complex. The new fire growth was private and USFS ownership. There are level 3 evacuations in place in multiple locations along the North side of the fire (Ketchum Road, Vensel Road, Godbersn Road and Mosier Creek). There are also several level 2 evacuation notices in place as well (Upper Mill Creek Road, Wells Road, Browns Creek Road, Cherry Heights, Chenowith Road and Obrist Road).

Fire Behavior:
Just as the fire was heating up yesterday afternoon, thunder cells dropped light precipitation which moderated fire behavior and limited fire growth. Fire behavior expected to be minimal this morning and moderate by this evening as winds increase.

Objectives:
• Build direct lines where possible along NW corner of the fire given the moderated conditions. Prep contingency lines for burn out along NW corner of the fire. Mop up the divisions on the east side of the fire.
• Continue to evaluate structural protection needs and trigger points for evacuations in the communities listed above.

Issues:
• Weather: 80 degrees, 30 – 35% RH, winds WSW @ 7-13 MPH with gusts to 25 MPH.
• Fire could reach high-voltage power lines today – the edge of this power line corridor is where the contingency lines are being prepped.
• Four residences and nine outbuildings have burned to date on this fire

Resources Threatened Today:
• Homes along the north side of the fire (Ketchum Road, Vensel Road, Godbersn Road and Mosier Creek).
• Private timberland and BPA high voltage power lines

Expected Growth:
• Fire will be pushed to the east with strong east winds – moderate growth potential.

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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

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.