Current situation

Widespread rain and unseasonably cool temperatures in Oregon have dampened existing fires and prevented new ones, easing the strain on firefighting resources. At the same time, wet conditions are making it harder on firefighters trying to remove equipment and repair the impacts from suppression efforts. In steep areas that burned earlier this summer, mudflows, rockslides and fire-weakened trees falling are concerns.






















Thursday, June 19, 2014

Owens Fire 65 percent contained

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry expects to achieve 85 percent containment of the 20-acre Owens Fire, located about 12 miles south of the community of Hood River, by Thursday evening, June 19. The fire is currently 65 percent contained. Full containment may be a few days off, due to the felled timber, but fire behavior is minimal and spread is not expected.

Firefighters have completed lines around the fire. Steep terrain and heavy fuels posed a challenge when the fire broke out early Wednesday morning.

Today three fire engines, four hand crews and several fire management (overhead) personnel are on site. The helicopter working the fire Wednesday has been released. Cause of the fire has not been confirmed, but ODF investigators are focusing on the timber harvest activity.

The U.S. Forest Service assisted ODF with equipment and personnel in the firefighting effort.

The Owens Fire occurred on forestland owned by Hood River County.

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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. 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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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.