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.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Government Flats Fire update - Sept. 4, 2013

Information: Oregon Department of Forestry – 541-296-4626
Mt. Hood National Forest – 503-668-1791

Today, containment of the Government Flats Fire Complex remains at 90 percent. Containment means a control line has been completed around the fire which can reasonably be expected to stop the fire’s spread. Areas on the northwest portion of the Blackburn Fire within the complex do not have containment lines firmly established yet. Significant mop-up work remains to be done in the heavier fuels on this area of the fire located on the Mt. Hood National Forest.
Isolated smokes may also continue to be visible in the interior of other areas of the Blackburn Fire away from the control lines.

A Type III Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team (IC Barnes) has been responsible for suppression and mop-up activities during the past week. This morning, management of the portion of the fire located on the Mt. Hood National Forest transferred to a US Forest Service Type III team. This team will be operating out of a new fire camp located at Toll Bridge Park in Parkdale.

The portions of the fire on private, Bureau of Land Management, and City of The Dalles ownerships will continue to be patrolled by The Dalles Unit of the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Total complex acreage remains at 11,434 acres, of which 11,221 is within the Blackburn Fire.

An area closure remains within the fire perimeter itself as well as on some Forest Service roads, trails and facilities within the Mt Hood National Forest in the vicinity of the fire. Listings of the road, trail and campground area closures may be found at these web sites: Mt Hood National Forest Area Closure or Outside of the closure area fire equipment traffic may be heavy near the western end of the Blackburn Fire. Please use caution if driving in these areas.

Many of the personnel assigned to the Government Flats Complex are being demobilized so they rest and become available to other wildfires. Activity at the incident command post at Wahtonka High School in The Dalles will be winding down today.

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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:

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.