Lightning is largely absent from Oregon this week. However, warm, dry weather will greet the hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving to see the eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21. Avoiding activities that can spark a wildfire is key to making the eclipse a safe and pleasant experience for all. One measure adopted to reduce the risk of wildfire is a temporary ban, now in effect, on all campfires in state parks





Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - Aug. 6, 2013

FIRES ON OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY-PROTECTED LANDS
No new fires 10 acres or larger on lands protected by ODF have been reported during the past 24 hours.

Southwest Oregon continues to be the focus of firefighting activity in the state, with numerous large fires burning in the region being staffed by ODF and interagency Incident Management Teams.

With more than 50,000 acres of fires burning in southwest Oregon, ODF districts in the mid Willamette Valley, as well as the Willamette National Forest, are concerned about human-caused fire-starts, including illegal burns, campfires, and driving on forest roads with dry grasses. Joint News Release from ODF South Cascade and West Lane districts and the Willamette National Forest.

Other southern Oregon and northwest Oregon districts have deployed many resources to fires in southwest Oregon and been responding with initial attack on new fire starts. ODF Districts in eastern Oregon have also mobilized resources to assist with southern Oregon fires, as well as being actively engaged in initial attack, responding to over 70 fire starts in the past six days on ODF protection and assisting other agencies with additional fire starts. For example, since the lightning event in Central Oregon on July 31, there were over 101 new fire starts for all agencies in that general area. Hold-over fires are continuing to be discovered and responded to.

Douglas ComplexThe 38,406-acre, lightning-caused Douglas Complex fires are burning approximately seven miles north of Glendale in Douglas and Josephine counties on a mix of BLM and private forestlands protected by the Douglas Forest Protective Association, and are now 16 percent contained. ODF Incident Management Team #2 (IC: Dennis Sifford) assumed command of this complex on Saturday, July 27. The Douglas Complex remains the highest fire priority nationally for resources, and there are currently 3,080 personnel assigned. Today, both Red Cross shelters at the Josephine County Fair Grounds and Glendale Elementary School have been closed. Repairs on rails and trestles damaged by these fires continues today. A community meeting in Wolf Creek is planned for tomorrow evening, August 7, at 6:30 pm.; exact location is still TBD. For more information, visit the complex’s Inciweb site. In addition, news releases from the fire team and other information that may occur throughout the day is also posted on the Douglas Forest Protective Association’s Facebook page and on the ODF Wildfire Blog.

Big Windy ComplexThe 10,841-acre, lightning-caused Big Windy Complex fires are burning approximately 25 miles northwest Grants Pass on BLM forestlands protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District, and is zero percent contained. Under a formal delegation of authority from ODF, the Pacific Northwest Interagency Incident Management Team #2 (IC: Chris Schulte) assumed command of this complex on Saturday, Monday, July 29. The complex consists of three fires: the Big Windy Fire, Calvert Peak Fire, and Jenny Fire (formerly the Windy 16 Fire). There are currently 1,159 personnel assigned to the complex.

Highlights:
Today, firefighters continue with the direct/indirect strategy and progress continues with containment lines preparing for burn-out, and conducting burn-out operations. This approach is estimated to require approximately one week to implement, however, weather conditions greatly influence when and how burn-out operations are conducted.
• Burn-out operations have been successful on the north flank of the Big Windy/south flank of the Jenny fires; crews will continue to work in this area to complete the operation. Crew are also working diligently to complete burn-out operations on the southeast corner of the Big Windy.
• Dry thunderstorms are possible after midnight tonight as the weather pattern becomes unstable.

NOTE: A new information phone number is available for the Big Windy Complex at 541-476-1252. For more information on this complex, visit the complex’s Inciweb site and social media sites:
• http://BigWindyORFire.blogspot.com
• http://twitter.com/BigWindyORFire
• http://facebook.com/BigWindyORFire
• http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigwindyorfire/

Brimstone FireThe lightning-caused Brimstone Fire, located 7 miles northwest of Merlin and 5 miles west of Sunny Valley, is now 2,372 acres and 80 percent contained. The fire has been turned over to a transition team out of the Southwest Oregon District who will supervise remaining mop-up on the fire. Most of the fire line has been mopped up 300 feet to the inside, and this work will continue today. Crews are continually challenged by t he hazards of the steep slopes, rolling rocks, and hot stump holes, but, through Sunday, there has been only one minor injury on the fire. Hog Creek and Quartz Creek roads remain closed except for residents and fire-related traffic. The fire’s Inciweb site will no longer be updated, however, further updates on this fire from the Southwest Oregon District will be posted to the district’s fire blog.

Joint Information Center:Information about fires in southwest Oregon can be had by calling the Joint Information Center (JIC) at (541) 471-6620.

FIRES BURNING ON OTHER LANDS
The lightning-caused Cascade Division Complex is burning approximately 14 miles northwest of Sisters. The largest fire in this complex of approximately 530 acres is the Green Ridge Fire (420 acres) and the fires are 30 percent contained. The NorCal Interagency Incident Management Team 1 (IC: Mike Minton) assumed command of this complex on August 3, and 452 personnel are assigned. Yesterday, crews started burn-out operations to secure control lines. Today, crews will focus on constructing line along the southern and southeastern edge of the fire, and mopping up the northern half of the fire by suppressing all burning material near the fire lines. Residents and visitors to the Sisters/Camp Sherman area may see increased smoke as these operations continue. A community meeting was held on Monday, August 5, with nearly 100 people present, and another community meeting is tentatively scheduled for Friday, August 9, at the Camp Sherman Community Center. For more information on this fire, visit the fire’s Inciweb site or the team’s Facebook page.

The lightning-caused Whiskey Complex fires burning six miles east of Tiller on the Tiller Ranger District of the Umpqua National Forest is now 8,337 acres and 30 percent contained. The Complex currently consists of three fires: the Whisky Fire (6,628 acres), the Buckeye Fire (1,682 acres) and the Smith Ridge Fire (27 acres and 100 percent contained). The incident is being managed by a Unified Command: Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 1 (IC: Williams) and the Douglas Forest Protective Association (IC: Ken Lane). Federal and private forestlands remain at risk from fires in this complex. For more information on this complex, visit the complex’s Inciweb site.

The 2,020-acre lightning-caused Labrador Fire is burning in an area south and west of the Illinois River in inaccessible country approximately 30 miles southwest of Grants Pass, Oregon. Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 2 (IC Brett Fillis) is managing this fire and there are currently 366 personnel assigned. For more information on this complex, visit the fire’s Inciweb site.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATIONFor 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.


FIRE STATISTICSFire statistics will not be included until further notice.

Note: Acreage of fires is continually tracked, but entering this information from field personnel into our central database from the field has been delayed. Those personnel are currently heavily engaged in firefighting. Reporting of cumulative statistics will resume when the information is available.

NEWS MEDIANews 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.

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

ABOUT THIS UPDATEThis 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.

OTHER LINKS
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Fire weather

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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. There are about 30.4 million total 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.