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.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fire Safety Crucial During Fall Hunting Season

Kyle Reed
Douglas Forest Protective Association 541-672-6507 X 136

Even though fire season ended earlier in the week in the Douglas Forest Protective Association jurisdiction, hunters and other recreationalists are reminded to be cautious with fire in wildland areas. During the fall months, several warm, windy days are all it takes to dry vegetation out enough for a fire to get out of control.

Campfires are one of the leading causes of wildfires this time of year. To prevent your campfire from becoming a wildfire, follow these tips:

- Always get landowner permission before having a campfire on private property. This includes private timber land.
- When selecting a site for a campfire, avoid areas near buildings, fallen trees, heavy vegetation, and overhanging branches.
- Remove all leaf litter and vegetation down to mineral soil for at least 5 feet on all sides of the fire.
- If a fire ring is not present, make one with rocks.
- Build your campfire downwind and at a safe distance from your tent and vehicle.
- Campfires should be kept small so they are easily manageable.
- Never leave your campfire unattended.
- At a minimum, keep a shovel and bucket of water nearby.

Before leaving the campfire, make sure it is 100 percent out. To do this, drown the embers and coals with water. Then stir everything together with a shovel, and then drown with water again. If any heat or smoke remains, the fire is not completely out. Continue to drown, stir, and drown until the heat and smoke are no longer present.

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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:

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

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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.