Current situation

ODF has been responding to dozens of lightning-sparked wildfires in southern Oregon. Incident Management Team 2 has been dispatched to assist the Southwest Oregon District with the Garner Complex of fires near Grants Pass. Very hot, dry weather today remains a risk for new fire starts and a challenge for suppressing existing fires. Many ODF districts and forest protective associations have raised their fire danger level and tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx




Thursday, September 12, 2013

Flare-up on Big Windy Complex sends smoke into valleys

More than 120 firefighters assigned to the Big Windy Complex continue the task of mopping up around the perimeter of the fire, burning out unburned islands of vegetation, and monitoring the interior of the burned area for flare-ups. A 20-acre flare-up Wednesday afternoon burned deep in the canyon where Howard Creek and Anna Creek converge. The flare-up pumped heavy smoke into northern Josephine County.

Contrary to earlier reports, yesterday's flare-up was not caused by burnout operations on the fire's west/southwest side.

Today, crews will monitor the flare-up and, if necessary, send helicopters with buckets in to cool down hotspots. Most of the flare-up occurred in an area where it is unsafe to send fire crews into. Using helicopters is the most effective way to contain flare-ups in the deep, remote canyons within the Big Windy Complex.

A series of infrared images were taken of the Big Windy Complex and the size of the burned area was revised to 25,775 acres. The complex is 90 percent contained.

Big Windy Complex updates and Southwest Oregon District fire prevention regulations are posted online at www.swofire.com and on InciWeb at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3570/.

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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 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

National weather forecasters are predicting the summer of 2018 will see above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Drought has already been declared in a number of counties in eastern and southern Oregon, with northwest Oregon also unusually dry for June. 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.

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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.