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Monday, August 19, 2013

ODF fire update - Aug. 19, 2013


Northeast Oregon District
The B&H Fire was reported on August 18, 2013 at 1:30 p.m., burning near McCarty Spring, 20 miles north of Enterprise. The fire burned 21 acres, primarily on ODF-protected forestlands. Extensive aviation and ground resources were used during initial attack and today it is dozer- and hand-lined. Approximately 40 firefighters will be on scene today, holding and improving that fire line, and beginning the extensive mop-up that will be required. The cause of this fire is under investigation.

The Big Sheep 2 Fire was reported on August 18, 2013 at approximately 1 p.m. burning in the Sheep Creek Divide, 19 miles east of Joseph, on various ownerships including approximately 10 acres of ODF protection (initial report at 100 acres total). This fire is burning in rugged, inaccessible country where getting resources on the ground is difficult. Initial attack yesterday included both aviation and ground resources. An Interagency Incident Management Team has been ordered to assume command of this fire. The cause of this fire is under investigation.


Government Flat Complex
ODF Incident Management Team 3 (IC: Cline) and Oregon State Fire Marshal Team Green (IC: Ingrao) assumed command of this complex of three lightning-started fires burning approximately 10 miles southwest of The Dalles that were detected on August 16, now totaling an estimated 3,000 acres. Approximately 500 personnel are assigned to this complex. The Blackthorn Fire, located in The Dalles watershed, is the largest of the three, at 2,700 acres, and grew on all sides yesterday and last night. A Level II Evacuation notification was placed in effect on Sunday for this area, and residents of 35 homes in the Reservoir Road and Upper Mill Creek Road areas were asked to make final preparations and get SET to evacuate if the need arises. The Upper Mill Creek Road and Reservoir Road, from their junction upstream, are closed to all public access except for area residents.

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 and the unified command is working closely with The Dalles Public Works Department in protecting the treatment facility which is currently located 1 mile east of the fire.

There was no growth on the Government Flat and Wells Road fires, located within this complex, and work efforts on these two fires will be to continue to patrol and deal with burning hot spots within the control lines.

More information on this fire is available on Inciweb at:

Douglas Complex
The Douglas Complex, burning approximately 7 miles north of Glendale in Douglas and Josephine counties, is now 76 percent contained and has burned 48,393 acres to date. There are 1,380 personnel assigned to this complex which is located on a mix of BLM and private forestlands protected by the Douglas Forest Protective Association. ODF Incident Management Team #1 (IC: Tom Savage) is assuming command of this complex from ODF Incident Management Team #2 this morning. There are currently 1,380 personnel assigned to this complex. More information on Inciweb at:

Big Windy Complex
The Big Windy Complex, eight miles northwest of Galice, is now 19,598 acres and 20 percent contained. There are 1,113 personnel assigned to the fire. More information on Inciweb at:


The House Creek Fire is burning 30 miles west of the Burns Junction within the Burns District of BLM. It is currently 2,800 acres and 30 percent contained.

The 121-acre Strawberry Complex, located 13 miles south of Prairie City on the Malheur National Forest, is 35 percent contained.

The Vinegar Fire is now 858 acres and zero percent contained. The fire is located in a remote area in the southern portion of the Umatilla National Forest. Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 4 is assigned to this fire. Closure orders have been issued today for this fire and those and more information is available on Inciweb at:

The Labrador Fire on the Rogue Siskiyou National Forest is holding at 2,023 acres, with no containment percentage reported.

The Whiskey Complex, six miles east of Tiller on the Tiller Ranger District of the Umpqua National Forest, is now 16,611 acres and 65 percent contained, with 453 personnel assigned. More information on this fire is on Inciweb at:

The Lava Fire is burning 12 miles from Diamond, OR, on BLM lands and is 7,102 acres and 65 percent contained.

For information on other ongoing wildfires in other jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, and to the national Incident Information System website at

ODF maintains a blog, at, that includes breaking news on wildfires statewide, along with current fire statistics. The Southwest Oregon District maintains a blog, at with wildfire information specific to the region, as well as a Twitter feed at

News media may call the Fire Information Duty Officer pager, 503-370-0403, 24/7 for fire information. The duty officer will call back promptly. Media may also call the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters office, 503-945-7200, weekdays during business hours.

This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands involving fires 10 acres or larger in size or of other significance. It also reports on ODF’s actions as a partner in fighting major fires that start on lands protected by other agencies.

ODF is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. Because fires may cross ownerships, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies work closely together.


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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 about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity.

Current wildfire info

National weather forecasters predictions that Oregon would see above average temperatures and below average rainfall in the summer of 2018 proved true. Almost all of Oregon was abnormally dry this summer, with a majority of the state in moderate to severe drought. Many areas posted record high temperatures or record strings of hot days. 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.


About Me

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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.