With most of the state having gone five to six weeks without significant rain, many ODF districts have increased the fire danger level to high. When fire danger is high, outdoor activities that are high risk for starting a fire are typically banned in or near forestland, such as debris burning, campfires outside of designated areas, and using tracer ammunition and exploding targets.














Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Inmate fire crews make their mark in 2014

Each year the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) team up to select and train inmates to dispatch to wildfires. Inmates are selected to serve on supervised 10-person crews, and have to complete the same nationally certified firefighter training course as their civilian counterparts. They learn the fundamentals of wildfire behavior, firefighting techniques, communication, and safety.

Deployment of DOC fire crews this year began in January and continued through October. During this time, DOC deployed an astonishing 242 staff members and 2,701 inmates to battle 66 fires. These crews were on the fire line from one to 17 days at a time, depending on the severity of the fire. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fire season segues to accounting season

The rains have set in, and the summer wildfire season is rapidly fading into memory. For the Oregon Department of Forestry, though, the current period might be called the “accounting season.”

Paying the bills, collecting reimbursements and handling other financial tasks will take months. 2014 was a severe fire season. The state’s firefighting expenditures ran to more than $75 million. After reimbursements, the net cost is expected to be about $47 million.

Cost of the epic 2013 fire season was even higher. The department spent $122 million that year to put out fires. The net cost calculated to around $75 million.

In both years, hot, dry conditions and abundant lightning produced hundreds of fires across the Oregon landscape.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hug Point Fire - final update Nov. 14, 2014

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will continue to visually inspect mop-up activities
until all final suppression objectives are met and completed on the Hug Point Fire in the Astoria District. 


ODF extends its gratitude to the local fire departments for their assistance with fire suppression efforts and protecting the local neighborhoods. 

Astoria District Forester Dan Goody appreciates the community’s patience as ODF works with forest landowners to improve procedures to prevent similar occurrences from happening in the future. 

At this time no evacuations are in place.

There were no injuries incurred on this incident. 

FIRE AT A GLANCE
Size: 100 acres
Cause: under investigation
Location:  Hug Point area, east of Highway 101 between mileposts 34-35.
Evacuations:  NONE
Containment:  75%
Expected Containment: Unknown
Crews and Equipment:  
Dozers/Excavators:  2 (on standby)
Crews:  3
Helicopters: 0
Engines:  3
Water tenders: 1

Total personnel:  33
Road closures: none

For additional information, please contact:
Ashley Lertora, 503-338-8442
, Ashley.M.Lertora@oregon.gov

 
###

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hug Point Complex update - Nov. 13, 2014

Oregon Dept. of Forestry- Astoria District
Neal Bond, Incident Commander


Crews continued to work hard through the night on keeping the fire from spreading. Although the east winds were strong through most of the night, rain started falling on the fire early this morning aiding firefighters’ efforts.  Night Operations Chief Dave Horning said “that within an hour, the rain knocked the flames down and now the firefighters are focused on digging around the stumps and piles to extinguish remaining hot spots.”  

Firefighters intend to take advantage of the rain while it lasts. The change in weather is predicted to only last a short time before the dry, cold, east wind weather pattern returns this weekend.
 Residents and motorists may experience smoky conditions in the Hug Point State Park (Hwy 101 MP 34 area) area.   

Fire at a Glance (11/13/14)

Size: 100 acres
Cause:  under investigation
Location:  Hug Point area, east of Hwy 101 between MP 34-35.
Evacuations:  NONE
Containment:  25%
Expected Containment: 
    Unknown

Crews and Equipment:  
Dozers/Excavators:  2
Crews:  5
Helicopters: 0
Engines:  3
Water Tenders: 2
Fallers: 2                

Total personnel:  68 
Closures: none

Contact:
For additional information, please contact:
Ashley Lertora, PIO at 503-338-8442 or
Ashley.M.Lertora@oregon.gov

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oregondepartmentofforestry

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hug Point Complex update Nov. 12, 2014

Early Tuesday afternoon a fire was reported east of Highway 101 between Cannon Beach and Arch Cape, Oregon, on lands owned by Stimson Lumber Company. Overnight extreme east winds in excess of 40 mph with gusts over 70 mph continued to fan the fire consuming slash piles in four post-harvest units.

Stimson Lumber Company and Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) personnel were on scene monitoring fire activity throughout the night. Today more firefighting resources will arrive from ODF Tillamook and Forest Grove district offices.
 
The focus for today will be to minimize fire growth by holding the fire inside the unit boundaries and start fire suppression and mop-up efforts.
 
Incident Commander Neal Bond said, ”Once the east winds die down this afternoon, we should be able to make quick progress in mop-up.”
 
At this time no evacuations are in place.
 
Residents and motorists can expect smoky conditions in the Arcadia Beach State Park (Hwy 101 MP 33 area) today as east winds persist.
 

Fire at a Glance (11/12/14)
Size:   unknown
Cause:  under investigation
Location:  Hug Point area, east of Hwy 101 between MP 34-35.
Evacuations:  NONE
Containment:  0%
Expected Containment: 
    Unknown


Crews and Equipment:   Dozers/Excavator:  3
Crews:  5
Helicopters: 0
Engines:  5
Tenders: 2
                 

Total personnel:  70 
Closures: none

Contact:
For additional information, please contact:
Ashley Lertora, PIO at 503-338-8442 or
Ashley.M.Lertora@oregon.gov
 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fire season ends in NE Oregon - all ODF districts are out

[With the announcement today that the Northeast Oregon District has ended fire season, the entire state is now officially out. It was an active season. On the 16 million acres protected by ODF, 1,117 fires burned 51,198 acres. Compared to the 10-year average, that is 174 more fires and more than double the acreage burned.]  

News Release from the Oregon Dept. of Forestry, Oct. 23, 2014:

As of 12:01 p.m. on October 23, 2014, fire season was officially terminated for forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Northeast Oregon District. This includes private, state, county, municipal and tribal lands in seven counties: Union, Baker, Wallowa, Umatilla and small portions of Grant, Malheur and Morrow. Scattered rain showers throughout the district over the past few weeks, combined with cooler fall temperatures has reduced the fire danger.

However, John Buckman, Northeast Oregon District Forester, reminds the public to implement safe practices when using fire in the fall months.

"Fall is a good time to burn forest slash or yard debris, but please recognize that just one sunny and windy day can change conditions very quickly," he said. "Each fall we respond to escaped fires, so please continue to use fire in a responsible manner."

Technical advice for burning and smoke management can be obtained from your local ODF office.

With the termination of fire season, requirements such as providing firefighting equipment at logging sites or obtaining a burning permit for burn barrels are no longer in effect. However, termination of fire season does not relieve landowners or forest operators of lawful responsibilities concerning the safe burning of debris or slash. Windy conditions combined with warm weather could cause unpredictable fire behavior.

Specific Smoke Management/Burning Advisory Information:

- Unless you are in a rural or city fire department protection area, burn permits for burn barrels and small amounts of yard debris are not required. If you are under the protection of a rural or city fire department, please call and ask what their burning restrictions are. Burning within the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation requires a permit from the CTUIR. Follow all requirements within the permit.

- Burning of slash from forestry and logging activities requires a Notification of Operation/PDM from the Oregon Department of Forestry. In addition to this permit, the local Oregon Department of Forestry office must be contacted prior to ignition.

Before burning in northeast Oregon, it is important to check weather conditions related to smoke management. For smoke management forecasts call (541)963-9781 or visit the following website:
www.odf.state.or.us/DIVISIONS/protection/fire_protection/Daily/neo.htm.

- Slash Burns must be registered with the local Oregon Department of Forestry office at least seven days prior to burning and burning accomplishments reported within seven days after burning.

The Northeast Oregon District of the Oregon Department of Forestry would like to thank forest landowners, forest operators and the public for their efforts in fire prevention, detection and suppression activities this season. After back-to-back record fire seasons for the State of Oregon, the Northeast Oregon District was again able to keep acres burned below the 10-year average of 2,207 acres.

Firefighters in the district suppressed 105 fires, which burned just 1,038 acres. Additional resources such as helicopters, bulldozers and single-engine air tankers partially paid for with General Fund monies from the State of Oregon helped significantly to check fire spread quickly in a year in which there were numerous large fires burning throughout the state.

These additional resources were part of the coordinated effort employed by ODF, which also included rural fire departments, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, local contractors, landowners and a long-standing relationship with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

For further information, contact the Oregon Department of Forestry at these local offices:

La Grande Unit (541) 963-3168
Baker City Sub-Unit (541) 523-5831
Wallowa Unit (541) 886-2881
Pendleton Unit (541) 276-3491

To report a fire, call 9-1-1.

Northeast Oregon District Wildfire Blog:
http://neodistrictfireblog.blogspot.com/
ODF on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/ORDeptForestry

Contact Info:
Christie Shaw, (541)886-2881, (541)263-0661
Jamie Knight, (541) 963-0195, (541)786-0501

Monday, October 20, 2014

State declares end to fire season in Central Oregon District

News contact: George Ponte, 541-447-5658, gponte@odf.state.or.us

The Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District announced today that the 2014 wildfire season on state-protected lands will end Tuesday morning, Oct. 21. All fire season-related rules will be lifted on the district, which encompasses 2.2 million acres of private and public forest and rangeland in 10 counties.

This year to date, 16,582 acres have burned in the district – nearly double the 10-year average of 8,681 acres.

“2014 was a very challenging fire season,” said District Forester George Ponte.

The Two Bulls Fire set the stage for high fire activity, breaking out west of Bend on June 7. Wind spread the fire rapidly, prompting residential evacuations.

A month later the White River Fire ignited in The Dalles Unit. Parched forest fuels and rugged terrain challenged firefighters battling the blaze.  

Wave after wave of thunderstorms swept across Washington and Oregon during the hot, dry summer, starting so many fires that the Pacific Northwest Region emerged as hotspot of the nation. To the district’s firefighters, it seemed like central Oregon lay at the epicenter.

In late July, dry lightning raked the district, igniting several fires in the John Day Unit that were eventually dubbed the Haystack Complex. An ODF fire team took command of the suppression operation and by early August was able to turn management of the complex back over to local forces.

Standard operating procedure would have called for the team to be promptly demobilized and its members sent back to their duty stations around the state. But in view of the extreme fire conditions, fire staff at ODF headquarters in Salem decided to hold the team in the district. Their decision proved to be pivotal.

On Aug. 5, the Rowena Fire broke out west of The Dalles. The fast-moving fire soon forced numerous evacuations. The next day, the team redeployed to the new incident. While a State Fire Marshal’s team positioned structural fire engines on residential streets, ODF firefighters battled to keep the flame front away from threatened neighborhoods. Just one home was lost. Had ODF’s fire team not already been in-district and able to take command in only a few hours, the outcome could have been very different.

Though fire season ends Tuesday, burn permits will still be required for any slash disposal or forest health burning. They are available by contacting ODF. Homeowners wishing to do backyard burning should check with their local fire department prior to burning.

The official closure of the season doesn’t eliminate the need for vigilance. Ponte urged people to continue to be careful with fire when working or recreating in the forest, and especially when doing backyard burning.

“Escaped debris burns are the leading cause of wildfires outside of fire season. People should not burn on windy days and never, ever leave a burn unattended,” he said. “In central Oregon we can have wildfires anytime during the year so for this part of the state, fire season never really ends.”

In 2013, the Central Oregon District entered fire season June 14 and ended Sept. 30.

###

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pacific Northwest 2014 highlight fire statistics

Following is a summary of various wildfire statistics for the Pacific Northwest Region (Oregon and Washington) in 2014 through Oct. 10:

  • To date, 1,260,088 acres in the Northwest have been consumed by wildfire, which includes 846,945 in Oregon and 413,143 in Washington.

  • There have been a total of 3,506 reported fires in the Northwest region with 93 meeting the criteria of a large fire, which includes 58 in Oregon and 35 in Washington.

  • The NW had a record setting 43 days at No. 1 on the National Incident Management Situation Report.

  • The NW stayed at Preparedness Level 5 for 31 days; the previous record was set in 2006 for 24 days.

  • To date, there have been a total of 128,513 lightning strikes. The single largest day in 2014 recorded 21,094 strikes.

  • In Oregon, the largest fire/complex was the Buzzard Complex for a total of 395,747 acres.

  • The largest fire/complex in Washington was the Carlton Complex at 256,108 acres.

  • The total cost to date exceeds $458,732,493, which includes $278,652,132 in Oregon and $180,080,361 in Washington.

  • During the peak fire activity there were over 12,000 firefighters and support personnel working over 900,000 active fire acres.
 
  • Over 35 Interagency Hotshot Crews from all over the nation were assigned within the region.
 
  • During the peak fire activity, the Northwest region saw 19 Incident Management Teams assigned at the same time. 

  • In 2013 the NW had 4,389 reported fires with a total of 503,993 acres

  • To date there have been 2,024 lightning fires and 1,482 human-caused fires. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oregon Department of Forestry Fire Update for Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Central Oregon District:  The IFFY Fire was reported at about 4 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14th, burning in timber and brush on private forestlands 26 miles northeast of Prineville.  The 15-acre fire received rain during the evening/early morning and is currently in mop-up.  The fire’s cause is under investigation.  This is the initial and final report on this fire.

 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fifteen-acre fire reported in Central Oregon District

The 15-acre 0962 Fire was reported Oct. 13 burning on private lands in the Central Oregon District and on the Ochoco National Grassland 10 miles NE of Prineville. The fire was in mop-up by late afternoon. Seven fire engines and one water tender were assigned to the fire. Two rural fire departments and the Bureau of Land Management worked with the Oregon Dept. of Forestry on the blaze. Cause is under investigation.

 

Rye Ridge Road Fire burning in NE Oregon District

Halloween may be only two weeks away, but wildfires keep breaking out. Oregon Dept. of Forestry and U.S. Forest Service firefighters, along with private forest landowners, responded Oct. 13 to the 12-acre Rye Ridge Road Fire burning 35 miles north of the community of Enterprise. Four fire engines, two bulldozers and a helicopter with rappellers responded to the  fire. It was in mop-up by late afternoon. Resources will remain at the fire through Tuesday and possible the day after. Cause is under investigation.

Transitions: summer to fall, wildfire to prescribed fire

As fall weather finally begins to take hold after the long wildfire season, many forest landowners are shifting to another form of fire. Prescribed burning removes downed woody material from the forest, reducing wildfire risk when next summer rolls around. And when conducted following timber harvest, these controlled fires help prepare the soil for replanting of young trees.

In addition to clearing excess vegetation that would otherwise compete with young trees soon to be planted, prescribed burning releases nutrients into the soil to jumpstart their growth.


Oregon’s Forest Practices Act, the first in the nation, requires replanting after logging.

To minimize smoke intrusions into populated areas, Oregon Department of Forestry meteorologists daily monitor weather conditions, and issue forecasts and burning instructions throughout the fall prescribed burning season.

To prevent excessive smoke caused by too many burns at one time, the weather forecasters coordinate hundreds of burning requests from private and public forest landowners.

In contrast to prescribed burns, which take place in fall and also spring, large wildfires typically occur in summer when weather conditions often trap smoke in populated valleys for an extended period.

Since 1972, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has regulated forestland burning in the state under the Oregon Smoke Management Plan. Though smoke intrusions into populated areas occasionally occur due to unexpected changes in weather and wind conditions, ODF’s oversight of prescribed burning minimizes such occurrences.

More information on prescribed forest burning can be found online, www.oregon.gov/odf

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fire Season not quite over yet - Rock Creek Fire

The Rock Creek Fire was reported late yesterday afternoon burning in north central Oregon approximately 11 miles west of Maupin. The fire was burning in grass and brush near Rock Creek Road, and grew to 14 acres. 

Resources assigned to the fire: 7 engines, 1 water tender and one 3-person hand crew responded.
Today the fire is in mop up.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Mt Harris wildfire proves fire season isn’t over yet

A fire broke out Saturday afternoon east of Imbler, Oregon, proving that fire season isn’t quite over yet. The fire moved quickly from near Market Lane and is now approximately 97 acres burning in mixed timber, brush and grass on Mt. Harris. It is currently on private lands. The cause of the fire is under investigation at this time.
Interagency firefighting resources were integral in battling the fire on Saturday afternoon. Firefighters led by the Oregon Department of Forestry responded from around Northeast Oregon to the scene.  Local rural fire departments from around Union County and the U.S. Forest Service assisted ODF with containment efforts.
Resources currently on scene include two helicopters, eight fire engines, multiple bulldozers and hand crews. Firefighters will work through the night to secure control lines, and then operations will continue for several days to patrol and monitor the fire for hotspots, as well as mop-up operations to further secure the fire area.
Firefighting resources will be prominent in the Mt. Harris area for the next few days. Currently, the Mt. Harris Road is closed to all uphill traffic, and downhill traffic will be led through the fire area. People are reminded to use caution while travelling in the area. Public and firefighter safety are primary concerns for fire managers.
The weather forecast for the week calls for more warm and dry temperatures with no precipitation in sight. The public is reminded that lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry are still under a Regulated Use Closure. No open fires are permitted at this time. 
More information for fire danger in Northeast Oregon can be found at http://bmidc.org/index.shtml
Contact a local Oregon Department of Forestry office for complete information on ODF Restrictions:
        La Grande Unit          (541)963-3168
        Baker City Sub-Unit   (541)523-5831
        Wallowa Unit             (541) 886-2881
        Pendleton Unit           (541)276-3491
 
To report a fire, contact:
Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch       (541) 963-7171
Or, call 9-1-1
### 
                      

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Hunters: Fire danger still present

Contact:
Kyle Reed
Douglas Forest Protective Association
541-672-6507 x136
 A word of caution to hunters as they prepare for opening day of deer season this weekend:  Fire danger is still present throughout the Umpqua Valley and fire restrictions remain in place.  While hunters take aim at that trophy buck, the Douglas Forest Protection Association would like to remind all forest visitors to still be careful in wildland areas.

“The cool overnight and morning temperatures can be very misleading” says DFPA Fire Prevention Specialist Kyle Reed.  “With temperatures forecasted into the 80’s through the weekend, the chances of a fire starting and spreading is still very likely.”

DFPA’s modified Regulated Use Closure remains in effect, which means the following restrictions must be followed when recreating on private, county, state or BLM lands. 

  • Campfires are only allowed in designated campgrounds (see list below)
  • The use of fireworks, exploding targets, and tracer ammunition are all prohibited.

Note that when traveling from DFPA protected land onto neighboring ODF or Forest Service lands, fire restrictions may change.  Contact the appropriate fire organization for the land you want to recreate on for up to date fire restrictions.

In addition, some private landowners still have additional closures or restrictions in place on their land holdings due to the fire danger.  It is recommended to check accessibility before venturing onto private lands. 

The Douglas Forest Protective Association protects 1.6 million acres of private, county, state and Bureau of Land Management lands within the Douglas District, and have suppressed 117 fires this year that have burned 113 acres.

DFPA DESIGNATED CAMPGROUNDS

Cavitt Creek Falls Recreation Site

Eagleview Campground

Lone Pine Campground

Millpond Recreation Site

Rock Creek Recreation Site

Susan Creek Recreation Site

Tyee Recreation Site

Amacher Park Campground

Douglas County Fairgrounds Campground

Pass Creek Campground

Stanton Park Campground

Chief Miwaleta Campground

Whistler's Bend Campground

 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

36Pit Fire Update, 9-27-14

Several roads remain closed to the general public but open to residents.  Please call the Sheriff’s Office at 503-655-8224 or go to their web site at www.clackamas.us for more information.

ODOT has opened Highway 224 to residents and workers escorted by pilot cars.  For updates related to the status of Highway 224, please contact Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) at 503-539-8454 or go to tripcheck.com.

The Mt. Hood National Forest also has fire closure areas in affect (Closure Order: MH-2014-13), for more information please visit their website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/mthood/.

The Type 3 team assumed command at 8:00 p.m. Friday, 9/26, and will release periodic updates as significant information becomes available.  503-630-1711 will remain as the fire information phone number.  Facebook and Inciweb pages may only be updated once per day.

The 36 pit fire is now estimated to be 5,520 acres in size and at 65 percent containment. At the northwest, northern, and southern perimeters of the fire, firefighters continue to patrol and complete fire suppression repair activities.  At the western flank of the fire near the 45 Road/Hillockburn Road, crews are prepping roads that will be used to reinforce the fire lines. Stopping the progression of the fire toward the west continues to be the priority.

Hazards to crews include: extremely steep terrain presenting crews with footing difficulties; rolling debris; and fire weakened trees, and muddy roads.  Heavy fuels within the fire perimeter will continue to smolder and may create visible smoke. 

The public is urged to be aware of increased fire related traffic on local roads and to drive defensively.

Information related to smoke can be found at:  www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.

For more info. on 36Pit Fire:
FIRE INFORMATION WEBSITE:   http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4106/
ON FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/mthoodnf?ref=hl
           
INFO PHONE:  503-630-1711  Office Hours:  8:00 am - 6:00 pm
EMAIL: 36pitfire@gmail.com 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Public wildfire restrictions eased in Douglas County


Douglas Forest Protective Association
Sept. 26, 2014
Contact: Kyle Reed, 541-672-6507 x136, kreed@odf.state.or.us

While fire season remains in effect, the recent rain showers and cooler temperatures have allowed fire officials with the Douglas Forest Protective Association to ease fire restrictions for the general public.  Campfires and fireworks are now the only restrictions under DFPA’s Regulated Use Closure.  Campfires are only allowed in DFPA Designated Campgrounds (see list below) and fireworks are prohibited.  Under state law, the use of exploding targets and tracer ammunition remains prohibited until fire season is terminated.

“We appreciate the help from all the public and landowners throughout the last several months of high and extreme fire conditions” says DFPA District Manager Melvin Thornton.  “Keep in mind though, fire season is still here! Fires will still burn in the fuels as they dry over the next few days, so caution and common sense is still needed while living and visiting the area.”

Burn permits for outdoor debris burning are now being issued by DFPA following an onsite inspection by a Forest Officer.  Before a burn permit can be issued, a fire trail down to mineral soil must surround the burn pile.  While burning is taking place, at least one adult with fire tools and water must remain on site until the burning is completed and the fire is put out.  Permits are only being issued for debris piles consisting of woody materials.  Garbage, plastic, rubber, and other materials cannot be burned.  DFPA burn permits are free of charge and can be obtained by calling DFPA at 672-6507 to schedule an onsite inspection.

For additional information about industrial or public use restrictions currently in effect, visit www.dfpa.net or call DFPA’s information line at (541) 672-0379.

DFPA designated campgrounds:
Cavitt Creek Falls Recreation Site
Eagleview Campground
Lone Pine Campground
Millpond Recreation Site
Rock Creek Recreation Site
Susan Creek Recreation Site
Tyee Recreation Site
Amacher Park Campground
Douglas County Fairgrounds Campground
Pass Creek Campground
Stanton Park Campground
Chief Miwaleta Campground
Whistler's Bend Campground

FireWise communities spreading across SW Oregon

September 26, 2014
Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District

Contacts:
Kaitlyn Webb, Medford Oregon Department of Forestry, (541) 620-1572
John O’Connor, Medford Oregon Department of Forestry, (541) 621-1168                

An active fire season in southwest Oregon comes as no surprise. Both smoky skies accompanied by frequent firefighter traffic are common sights. Damage of personal property and livelihood due to forest fires are also a concern—a concern that has recently been attracting more attention and the prompting of local action. Individuals are understanding the importance of defensible space around their homes as well as their neighborhoods. Firewise, a nationwide program is aiding in the promotion of this awareness and in taking steps to empower local communities to take action. There are currently 55 recognized Firewise Communities in Oregon, 6 of which have been established in 2014.

John O’Connor, a Firewise Specialist with the Oregon Department of Forestry describes this program as, “Neighbors working with neighbors to help make their communities safer from wildfire.” The goal is to create communities that can survive fires through fuels reduction. Since wildfires threaten entire communities, not just a single home, it is crucial for all members to be aware of elements that increase fire potential so that these can be eliminated in order to create defensible space around homes and properties. In urban areas, fire can jump from home to home. In more rural areas, fire can feed off the flammable vegetation between properties, which means that it must be a communal effort to create safer communities.

Flames do not have to be surrounding a neighborhood for the structures and properties to be at risk. Fire-spreading embers can drift miles from the actual fire presenting a danger to surrounding residents. Wisely selecting less flammable building materials for the roof and keeping gutters and roofs clear of leaves or needles can minimize the risk of ignition from drifting embers. Elements such as untreated decks or woodpiles near a home increase vulnerability to ignition and should be mitigated.

Firewise offers a wealth of information, property assessments, possible funding for fuel reduction assistance, as well as continual support and guidance regarding the plans a community sets in place for future sustainability and improvement of defensible space.

The rewards of a proactive and fire aware community far outweigh the efforts required. Being a Firewise Community enhances the safety of your home, builds community, and provides a framework for future action. Being fire ready reduces the risk of damaged structures and property in the event of a fire.

Contact one of these Firewise Communities specialists to learn how your neighborhood can become more resilient to wildfire by becoming a Firewise Community or visit www.firewise.org

John O’Connor, Josephine County Firewise, (541) 621-1168 Bob Schumacher, Grants Pass Fire and Rescue, (541) 450-6205 Ashley Lara, Ashland Fire and Rescue, (541) 552-2231

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

36 Pit Fire - Final update, Sept. 25, 2014

The Clackamas County Sheriff has lifted all evacuation notices.  Several roads remain closed to the general public, but open to residents.  Please call the Sheriff’s Office at 503-655-8224 or go to their web site at www.clackamas.us for more information. 

Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has opened Highway 224 to residents and workers escorted by pilot cars.  For updates related to the status of Highway 224, please contact ODOT at 503-539-8454 or go to tripcheck.com

This will be the last fire update produced by the Washington Incident Management Team 2.  The Type 3 Team will assume command at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, September 26.   Periodic updates will be released as significant information becomes available.  The public phone line for the 36 Pit Fire will remain the same.  For information on the current fire situation you can continue to call 503-630-1711.  The Mt. Hood Facebook and Inciweb pages may only be update once per day as information is gathered.
 
At the northwest, northern, and southern perimeters of the fire, firefighters continue to mop up hot spots, remove water hoses, and complete fire suppression repair activities.  At the western flank of the fire near the 45 Road/Hillockburn Road, crews are improving fire lines and mopping up hot spots 200-300 feet in from the fire perimeter.  Four and a half miles of “prepping” on the 45 Road/Hillockburn Road as well as roads at the head waters of the South Fork of the Clackamas River are expected to be completed by end of today’s shift.  Small trees and brush are being removed and chipped to reinforce fire lines.  Stopping the progression of the fire toward the west continues to be the priority.  Demobilization of fire crews has begun with twelve crews and two dozen engines completing their assignments today.
 
The 36 Pit Fire is now estimated to be 5,520 acres in size and at 55 percent containment. Hazards to crews continue which include extremely steep terrain presenting crews with footing difficulties, rolling debris, fire weakened trees, and muddy roads. 
 
Members of the public have been inquiring about the effects of the fire.  The intensity of the fire has varied within the fire area.  Some areas of the fire have intensely burned consuming all vegetation while other areas have burned moderately or lightly where the effects of the fire can be characterized as a mosaic burn.

Last night, a public meeting was held at the First Baptist Church in Estacada. Community members attending the meeting gave fire officials a positive response to the fire suppression effort and to future suppression plans.

P.A.C.E.
 
There are many factors that contribute to a safe and effective operation, but one of the most important is planning.  Washington Incident Management Team 2 advocates the use of a P.A.C.E. operation model as one tool to optimize performance.  P.A.C.E. is an acronym that stands for Primary, Alternate, Contingency, and Emergency plans.  Many understand the value of a “Plan B”, but frequently an alternate plan is never developed.  P.A.C.E. advocates developing second, third, and fourth options in advance.  The military has used the P.A.C.E. model for some time to manage the risks of combat operations.  While the specific risk factors and consequences may be different in the civilian world, the value of thorough planning and preparation applies to virtually all endeavors, particularly complex ones.  Washington Incident Management Team 2 uses P.A.C.E. to continually remind managers, supervisors, and firefighters to be alert to changes in their situation and be prepared with appropriate responses.

The Lazy Bend Camp and Work Center is closed.
Promontory Park is closed.
The La Dee OHV area is closed.

Members of the Washington Incident Management Team 2 would like to thank the public for their continued patience and support during the 36 Pit Fire. 

For more information on the 36 Pit Fire call (503) 630-1711.  For information related to smoke go to:  www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.  

 

###

Central Ore. hunter info booths open next week

September 25, 2014                                       

Contact:
Chris Dayton
Oregon Dept. of Forestry
541-549-2731, cdayton@odf.state.or.us  

Hunter information booths will be open across central Oregon in early October to provide the public with current fire restriction information on open fires, driving off road, chainsaw use, smoking in the forest, and more. Road closure information as well as map sales and coffee will also be available at most locations. 

Early fall is the most dynamic time of year for wildfire danger. Hot afternoons continue to dry out vegetation and colder nights alone do not provide adequate moisture recovery. Central Oregon has experienced an active wildfire season this summer. The message to hunters and recreationists is: Call ahead for the area you are visiting to find out the current fire use restrictions. They can quickly change and vary from place to place. Some restrictions may be lifted due to rain received. But many areas may still prohibit open fires and driving off of improved roads.

Fire restriction/fire use information can be found at the following locations:

 The Dalles:

                Memaloose Rest Area
                                Thursday, Oct. 2 – 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
                                Friday, Oct. 3 - 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

                Dodson Road
                                Thursday, Oct. 2 – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
                                Friday, Oct. 3 – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

La Pine:

                La Pine at “Rays”
                                Thursday, Oct. 2 – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
                                Friday, Oct. 3 – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Prineville:

                Prineville at “Rays”
                                Wednesday, Oct. 1 – 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
                                Thursday, Oct. 2 - 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
                                Friday, Oct. 3 - 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Highway 58:

                Milepost 71
Thursday, Oct. 2 – 10 a.m. to dark
Friday, Oct. 3 – 9 a.m. to dark      

The hunter booths are brought to you by the Central Oregon Fire Prevention Cooperative, the Klamath County Fire Prevention Cooperative and the Mid-Columbia Fire Prevention Cooperative.


 

 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Scoggins Valley Park at Hagg Lake to Re-open Wednesday

Washington County issued the following news release on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 @ 2 p.m. PDT

********************

With the Scoggins Creek Fire approaching full containment, Washington County officials plan to re-open Scoggins Valley Park at Hagg Lake at dawn Wednesday, September 24. The park had been closed since September 19 due to the Scoggins Creek Fire that had engulfed just over 200 acres of privately owned forest land.

State officials plan to monitor conditions frequently throughout the remainder of fire season.

“We are thankful to our neighbors throughout the Hagg Lake area who were affected by this fire and to the patrons of Scoggins Valley Park for their patience throughout this ordeal,” said Todd Winter, park superintendent. “We owe a deep debt of gratitude to all the first-responders and their home and supporting agencies. The bravery, professionalism and commitment demonstrated throughout this incident has been tremendous.”

The Scoggins Creek Fire drew an immediate response from the Gaston Rural Fire District, Cornelius Fire, Forest Grove Fire and Rescue, Hillsboro Fire and Rescue, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, MetroWest Ambulance and the Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency. Support also came from the American Red Cross, Clean Water Services, Gaston School District, Hillsboro Water Department, the Joint Water Commission, Stimson Lumber, Tualatin Valley Irrigation District, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Washington County Fire Defense Board, Washington County Animal Services, Washington County Emergency Management, Land Use and Transportation and Public Health.

With help from the Oregon State Fire Marshal, Oregon Department of Forestry and the Governor’s Office, command of the incident transitioned to state incident management teams directing fire suppression operations by state wildland fire fighters from throughout Oregon.

Coordination of this multi-agency effort came from the emergency operations centers that activated at Washington County and at the cities of Cornelius, Forest Grove and Gaston. The federal and state agencies supporting the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center also contributed to the effort.

Created by Scoggins Dam in 1975, Hagg Lake was designed as a reservoir for drinking, agricultural and commercial uses. Through a cooperative agreement with the lake’s owner, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Washington County operates Scoggins Valley Park as a site for boating, fishing and other recreational uses.

Contact:
Todd Winter, Scoggins Valley Park Superintendent, 503-357-5732,
Todd_Winter@co.washington.or.us
Philip Bransford, Communications Officer, Washington County Administrative Office, 503-846-8685, Philip_Bransford@co.washington.or.us

Oregon Dept of Forestry Fire Update for Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

New fires
The Jewel Road Fire was reported yesterday burning 7 miles west of Dufur in grass, brush and oak.  6 engines, 2 crews, 2 helicopters and 2 bulldozers responded to this fire, which grew to 33 acres.  The fire is now contained and in mop-up by local unit resources this morning.

Current large fires:

Scoggins Creek Fire
The 211-acre Scoggins Creek Fire burning 2 miles northwest of Hagg Lake near Forest Grove is now 83 percent contained. The Washington County Sheriff’s office will lift all evacuation orders today at 6:00 p.m. The Scoggins  Valley Park at Hagg Lake will reopen to the public on Wednesday (dawn-dusk) except for Boat Ramp C, which will remain closed to support firefighting efforts.

Last night was the final night shift for this incident. The resources assigned to today’s day shift will continue working after the team leaves. The in-coming team will shadow the Team 2 members today for a smooth transition.

Resources assigned:
15 crews, 5 helicopters, 8 engines, 1 bulldozer, 8 water tenders and 467 personnel are assigned to this fire.
Estimated Costs to Date: $1.87 M

Team 2 will transfer the command of the ODF Scoggins Creek fire to ODF Type 3 Team (IC Ennenga) working out of the Oregon Department of Forestry Forest Grove District Office. Official transition will occur Tuesday Sept. 23 at 6:00 p.m. The Transition Team will work to extinguish any remaining hot spots and recover equipment from the fireline. 

The local ODF fire staff will patrol the fire and monitor conditions frequently throughout the remainder of fire season. 100% containment is expected at 6:00 p.m. today.

Fire Information Phone: After today, all media and public inquiries should call 503-846-2999 until Sept. 26th or call the Oregon Dept. of Forestry’s Forest Grove office at 503-357-2191.
             
Cooperating Partners:
•           Washington Co. Emergency Operation Center
•           Washington Co. Sheriff
•           American Red Cross
•           Stimson Lumber Co. 
•           Gaston RFPD
•           Forest Grove FD
•           Washington Co. Fire Defense Board Chief

For More Information:


Twitter: @scogginsfire 
#ScogginsCreekFire

InciWeb: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4119/
Evacuations:  Washington County Sheriff’s office at:  503-846-2999 or Twitter: @forestgrovefire

ABOUT THIS UPDATE

ODF is responsible for fire protection on about 16 million acres of private and state-owned forest and grazing land, and certain other public forestlands including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. Fires may cross ownerships, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies work closely together.

This 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 major actions as a partner with other agencies.

FIRES ON OTHER JURISDICTIONS IN OREGON
More information on these fires can be found at: http://nwccweb.us/index.aspx and http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/

Statewide air quality index readings are available at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION & LINKS

ODF maintains a blog at http://wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com/. It includes breaking news on wildfires that occur on ODF’s fire protection jurisdiction and also fires on other lands that potentially threaten , along with current fire statistics, and a frequently updated Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/ORDeptForestry.

 
For information on 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://inciweb.nwcg.gov/. Statewide air quality index readings are available at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx.

NEWS MEDIA
News media may call the Fire Information Duty Officer, (see below), 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.
Cynthia Orlando (through 9/28) (503)945-7421 / (503) 510-7972
 

Scoggins Creek Fire Update September 23, 2014 @ 8 a.m. PDT

Scoggins Creek Fire
Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 2, IC Cline
September 23, 2014         8:00 a.m.
Fire Information Phone:  503-846-2999  until 9-26-14                                                             
            
Cooperating Partners:

•           Washington County Emergency Operation Center
•           Washington County Sheriff
•           American Red Cross
•           Stimson Lumber Co. 
•           Gaston RFPD
•           Forest Grove FD
•           Washington County Fire Defense Board Chief

Current Situation:
The Washington County Sheriff’s office will lift all evacuation orders today at 6:00 p.m. The Scoggins  Valley Park at Hagg Lake will reopen to the public on Wednesday (dawn-dusk)
except for Boat Ramp C, which will remain closed to support fire fighting efforts.

Last night was the final night shift for this incident. The resources assigned to today’s day shift will continue working after the team leaves. The in-coming team will shadow the Team 2 members today for a smooth transition.

Team 2 will transfer the command of the ODF Scoggins Creek fire to ODF Type 3 Team (IC Ennenga) working out of the Oregon Department of Forestry Forest Grove District
Office. Official transition will occur on Tuesday Sept. 23 at 6:00 p.m. The Transition Team will work to extinguish any remaining hot spots and recover equipment from the fireline.  The local ODF fire staff will patrol the fire and monitor conditions frequently throughout the remainder of fire season. 100% containment is expected at 6:00 p.m. today.

This is the final news release from the Incident Command Post.  After today, all media and public inquiries should call 503-846-2999 until Sept. 26th or call the Oregon Dept.
of Forestry’s Forest Grove office at 503-357-2191.

Fire at a Glance (09/23/14)           
Size: Estimated 211 acres
Cause: under investigation
Containment:  83%
Expected Containment:  9-23-14
Crews and Equipment: 
  Crews: 15                           
  Helicopters: 5      
  Engines: 8              
  Dozers: 1              
  Water Tenders: 8   
  Total personnel: 467
Estimated Costs to Date: $1.87 M

For More Information:
Email: ScogginsCreekFire2014@gmail.com
Twitter: @scogginsfire
         #ScogginsCreekFire
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ScogginsCreekFire2014
InciWeb: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4119/
Evacuations: Washington County Sheriff’s office at:  503-846-2999 or Twitter: @forestgrovefire

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.




Followers

About Me

My photo
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.