Cooler temperatures and higher humidity with light rainfall this past weekend in many areas of the state have helped firefighting efforts. Lightning is less of a concern this week but humans causing new fires remains a top concern. Gov. Kate Brown announced over the weekend that she is authorizing Oregon National Guard personnel to help fire suppression efforts near Crater Lake National Park.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Weather change may help Big Windy Complex crews

Sept. 13, 2013
Contact: Brian Ballou, 541-665-0662

Smoke will drift from the Big Windy Complex as an area along the north/northeast flank that flared up Wednesday continues to burn out. On Thursday, helicopters hauled buckets of water into the Howard Creek drainage to cool down hotspots. Further helicopter activity in the same area is expected to take place today and through Saturday.

More than 120 firefighters are assigned to the Big Windy Complex today and will work on the 25,775-acre burned area throughout the weekend. Their primary tasks are to mop up around the perimeter of the fire, burn out unburned islands of vegetation inside the fireline, and monitor the interior of the burned area for flare-ups.

By late Saturday, a weather change is expected that will shift the wind pattern, bring a chance of showers, cooler temperatures and higher humidity. The prevailing air flow this past week has been from the north; starting late Saturday, the air flow will be from the west and the temperature in the Big Windy Complex area will drop into the 70s. There is a chance for thunderstorm activity on Sunday.

The Big Windy 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

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.



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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.