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.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Government Flats Complex update - Aug. 28, 2013 morning

Information: 541-298-9899, 541-298-8741
Email: Inciweb:

Blackburn Fire Update:
The Government Flats Fire Complex has not grown in size for the last few days.

Today, crews will continue seeking and extinguishing burning or smoldering hot spots found in downed logs and vegetation, primarily on the west and northwest edges of the fire. Their work is similar to putting out a huge camp fire – drown and stir until the last ember is out. The work is done in a methodical manner by gridding an area, then re-gridding the area from a different direction until no smoke or other indications of hot embers are found. It is then rechecked the next day until it is out. Because this fire is so large, crews start at the outer boundaries and work their way in 200 to 300 feet.

Four 2-person crews are working each night using infra-red detection devises for locating hot areas. These areas are then marked with flagging for the firefighters on day shift to extinguish.

Firefighting crews and resources continue to be released from the Government Flats Fire Complex and will be available after a rest period for reassignment to other fires.

The public is reminded that fire equipment traffic will be heavy in areas near to the fire. Please use caution if driving in these areas. Some roads into the fire area are closed to non-fire traffic.

There is currently an area closure on some roads, trails and facilities within the Mt Hood National Forest in the vicinity of the fire. Listings of the road, trail and campground area closures may be found at these web sites: Mt Hood National Forest Area Closure or

Government Flat Complex at a glance:
Reduction in the fire acreage is due to more accurate mapping.
Total Complex Acreage: 11,434 Blackburn Fire Acreage: 11,221
Complex Containment: 75 Percent Total Personnel Assigned: 627
Structures Lost to the Fire: 4 homes/9 outbuildings Structure currently threatened: 0
Cost of the Incident to Date: $ 12 million
Resources: 20 crews/21 engines/ 8 dozers/ 10 water tenders/ 7 helicopters
Ownerships involved: Private, U.S. Forest Service, City of The Dalles, and Bureau of Land Management
Cooperators include Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon State Fire Marshal, BLM, USDA Forest Service, City of The Dalles, Wasco County Sheriff’s Office, Wasco County Emergency Operations Center, Hood River County Division of Emergency Management, Hood River County Sheriff’s Office, American Red Cross, Oregon National Guard, and Oregon State Police.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have a question/comment about this season's wildfire activity on the 16 million acres of private and public forestlands that the Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects from wildfire? Let us know. Please keep your remarks civil and free of profanity.

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:

Current wildfire info

Cool, wet weather in the winter of 2016-17 ended Oregon's long drought and left a thick mountain snowpack. It didn't take long for that to melt and vegetation to dry out due to a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather over the summer. As forest fuels dried, fires started and spread, many from lands adjacent to those protected by ODF, such as the Chetco Bar Fire in Curry County. That one fire accounted for 46% of the 47,537 acres of land protected by ODF which burned in 2017. Of fires originating on ODF-protected land, 95% 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.


About Me

My photo
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.