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.


































Monday, August 26, 2013

ODF fire update - Aug. 26, 2013

No new fires were reported to the Salem Coordination Center in the past 24 hours.

FIRES ON OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY-PROTECTED LANDS

Government Flats Complex
The Government Flats Complex burning 10 miles southwest of The Dalles, Oregon, is 11,309 acres (Blackburn 11,221 acres, Government Flats 229 acres, Well Road 66 acres), with the two smaller fires now 100% contained and the Blackburn Fire now 45% contained.

Crews took advantage of the past couple days of cool and wet weather, putting control lines against the black (burned area), mopping-up (making sure the area is cold out) and removing hazardous snags. As the operation section chief stated, "It is a good day to make hay and accomplish our objective of taking care of this fire." As portions of the fire are progressively meeting the desired objectives, personnel are being shifted to other areas of the fire, being demobilized and sent home or to another fire. There should be a noticeable downsizing of the "tent city" at the Wahtonka High School.

Fire personnel found yesterday that not all tents, even with rain flies or plastic coverings, are the same. Logistics personnel scrambled to assist firefighters with wet inner tents and bedding, by providing dry sleeping bags and arranging their sleeping in the school's gym. The gym floor may be harder, but it is dry and warm. The American Red Cross also made blankets available for use, if needed.

Roads within the fire area remain closed to non-residential traffic throughout the day. It is anticipated that all evacuation levels will be lifted this evening. Residents are encouraged to be very cautious when driving due to the high level of suppression vehicles and heavy equipment using the roads in the area.

The public (including bow hunters and bicyclists) is reminded that the Mt. Hood National Forest has implemented an area closure in proximity to the Blackburn Fire. Listings of the road, trail, campground, and general area closures may be found at the Forest web site: Mt Hood National Forest (http://www.fs.usda.gov/mthood) and at http://inciweb.org/incident/maps/3662/

Resources: 35 crews/36 engines/12 dozers/15 water tenders/8 helicopters

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. evacuation notices, please contact the Wasco County Sheriff's Office at 541-506-2580 or the Hood River County Division of Emergency Services at 541-386-1213 during business hours.

The fire complex is being managed under a unified command of Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 3 (Incident Commander, Chris Cline) and Oregon State Fire Marshal's Green Team (Incident Commander, John Ingrao).

Information: 541-298-9899, 541-298-8741
Email: govflatfire@gmail.com
Inciweb at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3662/.

Big Windy Complex
The Big Windy Complex eight miles northwest of Galice is now 24,125 acres and 37 percent contained.
Firefighters will take advantage of the unseasonably cool and moist conditions to explore options of working closer to the fire's edge to contain the fire. This will still require some burnout operations which could occur when fuels are drier later in the week.
Over the next few days, firefighters will prepare these new containment lines by falling snags, brushing roads, and connecting existing firebreaks.

Evacuations: A Level 2 evacuation is in place north of the Rogue River and south of the Marial Byway. A Level 1 evacuation is in effect in the Galice area and west. Residents should be prepared to leave if asked.

A Level 1 evacuation is in effect in the Galice area and west where hazards from the approaching fire may be severe. Structure protection firefighters are on standby in Galice in case they should be needed.
Closures:
• Grave Creek to Marial Back Country Byway, which includes Mt. Reuben Road (34-8-1 Road), 32-8-31 Road, a portion of the 32-8-9.2 Road, and the Marial Access Road (32-9-14.2).
• Bear Camp Road (BLM # 34-8-36 and Forest Service #23) is officially closed. See websites above for additional information. The National Guard is providing staffing at all road closure checkpoints.
• Burnt Ridge Road, Forest Service Road 2308, is closed from the junction with Forest Road 23 to the junction with Forest Road 33.
• Rogue River Trail from Grave Creek to Rogue River Ranch.
For more information: 541-476-1252


Douglas Complex
The Douglas Complex, burning approximately 7 miles north of Glendale in Douglas and Josephine counties, is now 89 percent contained and has burned approximately 48,679 acres.

The Douglas Complex is being turned over to a smaller incident management organization today. Oregon Dept. of Forestry Incident Management Team 1 transfers command at 6:00 p.m. to a Type 3 team comprised of local crews.

Fire camp is moving to Cuff Field, off Junction Rd in Glendale. The incident command post at Glendale High School will be closed after breakfast on Tuesday morning. The helicopter base is moving to the airport in Myrtle Creek.
Objectives on the Rabbit Mountain and Dad's Creek fires today are to continue mop-up and rehabilitation projects. Excess equipment - pumps, hoses and Fol-Da-Tanks - is being pulled from the fireline and returned to camp.

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.
More information on Inciweb at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3559/.


FIRES BURNING ON OTHER LANDS
The Vinegar Fire is now 1,220 acres and 20 percent contained. The fire is located approximately 6.5 miles southwest of Granite, Oregon. It is burning in the North Fork John Day Wilderness Area. There are 489 people assigned to work on the fire.
Road and areas closures remain in effect. The communities of Greenhorn and Alamo remain under a Level 1 evacuation notice.
For more information please contact the Fire Information Line at (541) 755-9003.
More information also available on Inciweb at: http://inciweb.org/incident/3645/


The Labrador Fire continues to burn in inaccessible country 30 miles southwest of Grants Pass, Oregon. Isolated heat pockets still persist in the fire. The fire is 2,023 acres, with no containment percentage reported; 29 personnel are assigned to this fire.

An Evacuation Level 1 order is still in place for the Oak Flat community in Josephine County. Level 1 means that people should be prepared to evacuate. The Illinois River road remains closed to public use for safety reasons.
A season ending event will provide the moisture needed to control the fire.

For more info: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3563/

The 2,200 acre lightning-caused Olympus Fire (BLM) burning 23 miles east of Crane, OR. in grass, brush, and juniper is 40 percent contained.
For more information: http://www.nwccweb.us/information/fire_info.aspx

The lightning-caused Sagehen Gulch Fire (USFS) burning in grass, brush and timber 26 miles southeast of Prairie City is 290 acres 50% contained.
For more information: http://www.nwccweb.us/information/fire_info.aspx

The Whiskey Complex, six miles east of Tiller on the Tiller Ranger District of the Umpqua National Forest, is now 17,891 acres and 100 percent contained.
More information on this fire is on Inciweb at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3562/.

FIRE STATISTICS
Lightning-caused: 363 fires burned 91,430 acres
Human-caused: 536 fires burned 2,777 acres
Total: 899 fires burned 94,207 acres

10-yr avg
Lightning-caused: 229 fires burned 8,939 acres
Human-caused: 478 fires burned 2,839 acres
Total: 707 fires burned 11,778 acres.

Fire statistics can be accessed any time from the ODF website.
*When personnel are heavily engaged in firefighting activities, the latest information may not always appear in the statistics.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION
For information on other ongoing wildfires in other jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, http://www.nwccweb.us/ and to the national Incident Information System website at http://www.inciweb.org/state/38.

Statewide air quality index readings are available at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx

ODF maintains a blog, at http://wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com/, that includes breaking news on wildfires statewide, along with current fire statistics.

The Southwest Oregon District maintains a blog at http://www.swofire.com/ with wildfire information specific to the region, as well as a Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/swofire.

NEWS MEDIA
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.


ABOUT THIS UPDATE
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. Fires may cross ownerships, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies work closely together.

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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: 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, 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.