Current situation

Fires in the Garner Complex in Josephine County have burned close to a 1,000 acres since Sunday. ODF Incident Management Team 2 has taken command of the Complex to allow the Southwest Oregon District to focus on dozens of other lightning-sparked wildfires. While temperatures in many parts of Oregon won't be quite as hot today, conditions are drier than normal for this time of year. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 99% of Oregonians live in areas that are abnormally dry or in moderate drought, with southeast Oregon already in severe drought.

Many ODF districts and forest protective associations have raised their fire danger level and tightened restrictions on activities linked to fire starts. Check ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx





Thursday, July 3, 2014

Forestry’s West Lane, South Cascade districts advise fire caution over Fourth

July 3, 2014                                                     
Contacts:
Greg Wagenblast, 541-726-3588, gwagenblast@odf.state.or.us
Link Smith, 541-935-2283, gsmith@odf.state.or.us

Hot, dry weather has arrived, and the Department of Forestry asks Oregonians to be mindful of the wildfire risk over the Fourth of July weekend.

“If you’re going camping, check with the landowner to learn whether campfires are permitted,” South Cascade District Forester Greg Wagenblast said.

In areas where campfires are allowed, take precautions to ensure the fire doesn’t escape to become a wildfire. The Keep Oregon Green Association lists helpful tips for a safe campfire at: www.keeporegongreen.org/.

Fireworks have no place in the forest and should be left at home. This time of year the woods are an abundant fuel bed of grass, trees and shrubs that can be ignited by the sparks and flames from even legally sold fireworks.

Residents of Lane and Linn counties are reminded that backyard burning is banned for the season.

Oregon law now prohibits the use of exploding targets, tracer ammunition and sky lanterns in the forest during wildfire season.

“We ask people to exercise caution as they recreate this holiday weekend,” he said. “Fire season is just ramping up in the region, and we likely have a long one ahead of us.”

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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

National weather forecasters are predicting the summer of 2018 will see above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Drought has already been declared in a number of counties in eastern and southern Oregon, with northwest Oregon also unusually dry for June. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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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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.