Current situation

Sunny and dry conditions again prevail across Oregon this week. Mild temperatures will give way to warmer conditions, melting snow and drying fuels faster. This will raise fire risk across the state. There have already been twice as many wildfires on ODF-protected land compared to the same time last year, with more than twice as many acres burned.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, a time when homeowners are urged to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfire around their house and other structures. Among these are clearing debris from roofs and gutters, cutting back brush from around structures, and removing lower branches from trees.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Owens Fire 10 percent contained - June 18, 4 p.m.

The approximately 50-acre Owens Fire burning about 10 miles south of the community of Hood River was 10 percent contained by 1:30 p.m. today. Oregon Dept. of Forestry (ODF) fire managers expect to achieve full containment by 6 p.m. June 19. Burning on Hood River County forestland, the blaze spread rapidly this morning through dry logging slash, pushed by wind. Once the slash was consumed and the fire moved into reprod timber, the behavior moderated, enabling firefighters to make gains. By late afternoon today firefighters had nearly completed fire line around the perimeter of the blaze.

The Hood River County Forester said the slash that burned - from a timber harvest three weeks ago - was just starting to turn red. The area that burned contained felled timber, mostly Douglas-fir with some Ponderosa pine.

Firefighters will likely need to monitor the site for flare-ups throughout the rest of the fire season.

Firefighting resources currently on scene include: several hand crews, fire engines, bulldozers and water tenders.

Cause of the Owens Fire is under investigation. Since it occurred on an active timber harvest operation, Oregon Dept. of Forestry investigators are focusing on logging activity as the likely cause.

The U.S. Forest Service is assisting ODF in the suppression effort and has provided equipment and personnel.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have a question/comment about this season's wildfire activity on the 16 million acres of private and public forestlands that the Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects from wildfire? Let us know. Please keep your remarks civil and free of profanity.

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

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.