Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land has officially ended in all of Oregon as cooler temperatures and moister conditions settle over much of the state. With the end of wildfire season in Oregon, firefighting resources are now more available. As a result, several public and private engines and crews have been dispatched to California to assist with the devastating wildfires there.































Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - Aug. 20, 2013

NEW FIRES ON OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY-PROTECTED LANDS

The 17-acre Pocahontas Fire was reported yesterday burning in grass and brush west of Baker on the Northeast Oregon District threatening 3 homes and 2 outbuildings. The fire was contained and was turned over to the landowner.

FIRES ON OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY-PROTECTED LANDS

Government Flat Complex
The Wells and Government Flat fires lines held yesterday and the two fires remained at 66 and 229 acres respectively, but the Blackburn Fire doubled in size increasing to 6,725 acres. Gusty winds and steep slopes pushed the fire across containment lines on multiple divisions yesterday, and today gusty winds are creating erratic fire behavior and new fire growth.

Two residences burned yesterday along with 5 outbuildings. There is a Level 3 evacuation in place for the Upper Mill Creek and Obrist Roads. OSFM structural task forces are protecting structures today including the water treatment plant for the City of The Dalles. The fire is at the water treatment plant this morning.

These three lightning-started fires are burning approximately 10 miles southwest of The Dalles. ODF Incident Management Team 3 (IC: Cline) and the Oregon State Fire Marshal Team Green (IC: Ingrao) have command of this complex.

Protection of the City of The Dalles water treatment facility and structures in the vicinity of the Blackburn Fire continue to be high priorities and the unified command is working closely with The Dalles Public Works Department in protecting the treatment facility.

Public meeting
The public is invited to a community meeting tonight at 6:30 PM at Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue headquarters located at 1400 West 8th Street in The Dalles.

Approximately 500 personnel are assigned to this complex. Cooperators include Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon State Fire Marshall’s Office, BLM, City of The Dalles, Wasco County Sheriff’s Office, Wasco County Emergency Operations Center, American Red Cross, US Forest Service and Oregon State Police.
More information on this fire is available on Inciweb at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3662/.

Douglas Complex
The Douglas Complex, burning approximately 7 miles north of Glendale in Douglas and Josephine counties, is now 78 percent contained and has burned approximately 48,643 acres. ODF Incident Management Team #1 (IC: Tom Savage) assumed command of this complex from ODF Incident Management Team #2 yesterday at noon.

Both the Rabbit Mountain and Dad’s Creek fires are active fire areas and closed to the public due to firefighting traffic and dangerous debris rolling onto the roads. BLM has posted signs and maps at road blocks. For more detailed information about road closures: 541-440-4930 (Roseburg) 541-471-6500 (Grants Pass).

All evacuation levels have been lifted.

There are currently 1,324 personnel assigned to this complex.
More information on Inciweb at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3559/.

Big Windy Complex
The Big Windy Complex, eight miles northwest of Galice, is now 22,798 acres and 20 percent contained.
Today’s Fire Operations: Fire fighters were warned to maintain situational awareness at all times since active fire behavior is expected today. Spotting, torching, and short crown runs are possible. Crews will continue to burnout along the containment lines to remove unburned fuels from between the line and the main fire. To date, the containment lines have held, despite increased winds. Today, a spike camp will be established to support several hotshot crews at the Bear Camp Overlook. This remote camp will reduce drive times and allow for a more efficient burnout and holding operation.

Evacuations: A Level 2 evacuation is in place north of the Rogue River and south of the Marial Byway. 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. Residents should take precautionary measures to protect persons with special needs, pets, livestock, and mobile property.

There are 1,017 personnel assigned to the fire. More information on Inciweb at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3570/.

The B&H Fire was reported Sunday burning near McCarty Spring, 20 miles north of Enterprise on the Northeast Oregon District. The fire burned 21 acres, primarily on ODF-protected forestlands. Extensive aviation and ground resources were used during initial attack and the fire is now fully-lined and in mop-up and patrol status. The cause of this fire is under investigation.

FIRES BURNING ON OTHER LANDS

The Big Sheep 2 Fire (USFS) was reported Sunday burning in the Sheep Creek Divide, 21 miles east of Enterprise, on various ownerships including approximately 8-10 acres of ODF protection (126 acres total). This fire is burning in rugged, inaccessible country where getting resources on the ground is difficult. Initial attack included both aviation and ground resources. This fire is being suppressed aggressively with water and retardant, with continued aerial support from State of Oregon Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) dropping retardant, helicopters dropping water, and engine and hand crew support where access and terrain permits. A Type 3 Incident Management Team has assumed command of this fire. The cause of this fire is under investigation.

For more information: 541-426-5681 or 541-426-5692 / http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3678/

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 50 percent contained.

The 121-acre Strawberry Complex, located 13 miles south of Prairie City on the Malheur National Forest, is 60 percent contained.

The Vinegar Fire is now 970 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: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3645/

The Labrador Fire located 13 miles northwest of Cave Junction 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 16,861 acres and 75 percent contained, with 487 personnel assigned. More information on this fire is on Inciweb at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3562/.

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

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.

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. Because 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, 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. 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.